Using data from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS), to determine the role of estrogen formulation, dose, route of delivery, and its combination with different progestogens on the risk for hypertension in the WHI-OS.
After excluding women with diagnosed hypertension, receiving antihypertensive medication, presenting with elevated blood pressure ( ≥ 140/90), and those not taking menopausal hormone therapy at baseline, 19,986 women remained eligible for the analyses. Using hierarchal modeling, proportional hazard rate calculation, and linear and logistic regression analyses, we evaluated incident treated hypertension and mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure changes at 3 years. Multivariable models were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, smoking, physical activity, body mass index, history of treated diabetes, history of prescription medicines for high cholesterol, alcohol intake, hysterectomy, and bilateral oophorectomy.
At 3 years, and compared with conjugated estrogens (CEE) with or without a progestin, the odds for newly treated hypertension were lower in women who used transdermal estradiol (0.85, 95% CI, 0.73-1.00) or oral estrone sulphate dominant preparations (0.83, 0.72-0.96). The odds of incident treated hypertension after 3 years did not vary according to dose of estrogen. The mean measured systolic blood pressure was minimally lower with transdermal estradiol (−1.20, 95% CI, −1.97 to −0.44) mm Hg and other oral Estrone dominant preparations (−0.83, 95% CI, −1.51 to −0.16) mm Hg at 3 years. For a given estrogen type, the magnitudes of the hazard ratio were similar for estrogen-alone compared with estrogen plus a progestogen. For women 10 or more years past menopause when they entered, the HR for incident self-reported treated hypertension was 1.26 (95% CI, 1.09-1.46) with higher dose CEE compared with 0.625 mg CEE. It was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.68-1.13) when given to women who were < 10 years after menopause when they entered the WHI-OS.
The risk of treated hypertension differed by formulation, dose, and years since menopause.