Does MHT/HRT increase the risk of heart disease and heart attacks?


MHT alone does not increase the risk of a heart attack. Heart attacks are the number two killer of women in Canada. Healthy perimenopausal women benefit from a protective effect from MHT and in fact have a lowered risk of heart attack.

Post- menopause, as a woman grows older, the risks of heart disease increase. Risks for MHT are age and life-style related.

The seven major risk factors for heart disease can all be modified, so a woman can adjust her lifestyle and reduce these risks. These risks are:

  1. Smoking
  2. Abnormal lipid profiles (seen from blood tests ordered by your doctor, these can include high blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or fats called triglycerides)
  3. Hypertension
  4. Abdominal obesity
  5. Poor diet
  6. Excess alcohol
  7. Chronic stress

If you have any of these risk factors in your life, tell your healthcare provider when you are discussing hormone therapy.

Written By:

Jennifer Vander Zalm

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