Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) does not protect post-menopausal women against cardiovascular disease and may increase risk of stroke, according to a study.
HRT is used to treat menopausal symptoms and is not prescribed in the UK to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Research, published in the Cochrane Library, looked at data from more than 40,000 women across the world.
The results found no evidence that HRT provides any protective effects against death from cardiovascular disease, non-fatal heart attacks or angina, either in healthy women or women with pre-existing heart disease.
But, the researchers did find some evidence of a small increased risk of stroke for post-menopausal women.
Maureen Talbot, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “HRT is not specifically prescribed to prevent or treat coronary heart disease, but to control symptoms of menopause.
“This study supports what we already know and indicates a possible increased risk of stroke or formation of a blood clot in some women.
“It is important that women have a full understanding of the risks and benefits of HRT and should talk this through with their GP.”