Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

COX Inhibitors May Weaken Protective Qualities Of Estrogen Hormone Therapy

Date:
May 25, 2007
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found in a database study of women heart patients that COX inhibitors such as traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may undermine any purported protection against heart disease in participants taking estrogen therapy.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found in a database study of women heart patients that COX inhibitors such as traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may undermine any purported protection against heart disease in participants taking estrogen therapy.

Related Articles


Premenopausal women are less susceptible to heart attack and stroke than are males of the same age group, an advantage that is lost after menopause. However, why this happens physiologically is unclear. Despite the cardiovascular advantage of premenopausal women, it has been difficult to identify a cardioprotective effect of taking estrogen in postmenopausal women. The Penn research group recently found in mice that estrogen acts via COX-2–dependent prostacyclin, a fat that has a role in limiting blood clotting. Estrogen in this animal model acts via prostacyclin to decrease clotting and oxidative stress in cells and to limit hardening of the arteries.

“We were prompted to perform these studies while exploring the mechanism by which NSAIDs confer a cardiovascular hazard, that is suppression of COX-2 derived prostacyclin,” says lead author Garret FitzGerald, MD, Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at Penn.

Inhibition of COX-2 by NSAIDs prevents production of prostacyclin. However, as estrogen acts to increase production of prostacyclin, the researchers surmise that the possible positive effects of estrogen therapy on the cardiovascular system may be counteracted by the COX-inhibiting NSAIDs.

To ascertain whether the failure to detect a benefit from estrogen might be partly attributable to a pharmacological interaction between inhibitors of COX-2 and estrogen, the researchers examined the medical records of 1,673 women between 50 and 84 from the United Kingdom’s General Practice Research Database who had heart attacks or who died from coronary heart disease and compared them with 7,005 control participants.

The researchers found that use of estrogen replacement therapy was associated with a significantly lower risk of heart attack than non-use. However, in women who used NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, which inhibit COX-1 and COX-2, at the same time as hormone replacement therapy, this protective effect was lost.

Whether taking estrogen actually confers cardioprotection remains controversial. It seems likely that benefit is conferred only on women who commence estrogen close to the time of menopause; such women were the object of this study, explain the researchers. If estrogen is started some years after the onset of menopause it may actually confer risk itself.

“These provocative observations should not be regarded as a basis for clinical decisions,” says FitzGerald. “However, they are mechanistically plausible and should stimulate further research."

This work was performed in collaboration with Luis Alberto García Rodríguez, from the Centro Español de Investigación Farmacoepidemiológica (Madrid), and was partially funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Karine Egan, Penn, was also a co-author. The results were described this week in PLoS Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "COX Inhibitors May Weaken Protective Qualities Of Estrogen Hormone Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523113608.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2007, May 25). COX Inhibitors May Weaken Protective Qualities Of Estrogen Hormone Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523113608.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "COX Inhibitors May Weaken Protective Qualities Of Estrogen Hormone Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523113608.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

BuzzFeed (Jan. 23, 2015) — Dating is now speed-dating... or studying. Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins