Women’s Heart Health: Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Clots

This month, Dr. JoAnn Manson, Chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, joins us for the last installment of our women’s heart health series.

Dr. Manson talks about the link between blood clots and hormone therapy (for example, estrogen) in postmenopausal women. She also addresses how certain characteristics and genetic factors can affect a woman’s risk for clots.

Key takeaways:

  • Oral estrogen and combined estrogen/progestin therapies are associated with an increased risk of blood clots.
  • Obesity and certain genetic mutations can increase a woman’s risk for blood clots if she takes hormone therapy after menopause.
  • Estrogen delivered through the skin (through a patch or gel) may pose less risk than oral hormone therapy, but more research is needed.
  • Hormone therapy should not be used to prevent heart disease or other chronic diseases.

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