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      Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogenand Medroxyprogesterone Acetate on Lipoprotein(a) and Other Lipoproteins in Japanese Postmenopausal Women with and without Dyslipidemia

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          Background/Aim: The cardiovascular effects of postmenopausal hormone replacement are controversially discussed. We investigated the effects of 12 months of treatment with conjugated equine estrogen and medroxyprogesterone acetate on lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] and other lipoproteins in Japanese postmenopausal women (PMW) with and without dyslipidemia. Methods: Forty-three normolipidemic and 17 dyslipidemic PMW [total cholesterol (TC) ≧220 mg/dl or triglyceride (TG) ≧150 mg/dl] received conjugated equine estrogen (0.625 mg) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (2.5 mg) daily for 12 months, and the results were compared with those of 26 normolipidemic and 14 dyslipidemic subjects declining this treatment as controls. The fasting serum levels of Lp(a), TC, TG, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low- density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein (Apo) AI, Apo AII, Apo B, Apo CII, and Apo E were measured in each subject at baseline and 12 months after this treatment initiation. Results: The treatment decreased Lp(a) similarly in normolipidemic and dyslipidemic PMW and decreased TC, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, Apo CII, and Apo E and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, Apo AI, and Apo AII in both groups. The therapy also significantly increased TG in normolipidemic but not dyslipidemic subjects. In controls, the levels of Lp(a) and other lipoproteins were unaltered. Conclusions: In PMW with or without dyslipidemia, improvement in Lp(a) and other lipoproteins may represent cardiovascular benefits of hormone replacement therapy. However, an elevation of the TG levels seen with the therapy warrants caution, especially in PMW without dyslipidemia.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Effects of estrogen or estrogen/progestin regimens on heart disease risk factors in postmenopausal women. The Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) Trial. The Writing Group for the PEPI Trial.

          To assess pairwise differences between placebo, unopposed estrogen, and each of three estrogen/progestin regimens on selected heart disease risk factors in healthy postmenopausal women. A 3-year, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. A total of 875 healthy postmenopausal women aged 45 to 64 years who had no known contraindication to hormone therapy. Participants were randomly assigned in equal numbers to the following groups: (1) placebo; (2) conjugated equine estrogen (CEE), 0.625 mg/d; (3) CEE, 0.625 mg/d plus cyclic medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), 10 mg/d for 12 d/mo; (4) CEE, 0.625 mg/d plus consecutive MPA, 2.5 mg/d; or (5) CEE, 0.625 mg/d plus cyclic micronized progesterone (MP), 200 mg/d for 12 d/mo. PRIMARY ENDPOINTS: Four endpoints were chosen to represent four biological systems related to the risk of cardiovascular disease: (1) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), (2) systolic blood pressure, (3) serum insulin, and (4) fibrinogen. Analyses presented are by intention to treat. P values for primary endpoints are adjusted for multiple comparisons; 95% confidence intervals around estimated effects were calculated without this adjustment. Mean changes in HDL-C segregated treatment regimens into three statistically distinct groups: (1) placebo (decrease of 0.03 mmol/L [1.2 mg/dL]); (2) MPA regimens (increases of 0.03 to 0.04 mmol/L [1.2 to 1.6 mg/dL]); and (3) CEE with cyclic MP (increase of 0.11 mmol/L [4.1 mg/dL]) and CEE alone (increase of 0.14 mmol/L [5.6 mg/dL]). Active treatments decreased mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.37 to 0.46 mmol/L [14.5 to 17.7 mg/dL]) and increased mean triglyceride (0.13 to 0.15 mmol/L [11.4 to 13.7 mg/dL]) compared with placebo. Placebo was associated with a significantly greater increase in mean fibrinogen than any active treatment (0.10 g/L compared with -0.02 to 0.06 g/L); differences among active treatments were not significant. Systolic blood pressure increased and postchallenge insulin levels decreased during the trial, but neither varied significantly by treatment assignment. Compared with other active treatments, unopposed estrogen was associated with a significantly increased risk of adenomatous or atypical hyperplasia (34% vs 1%) and of hysterectomy (6% vs 1%). No other adverse effect differed by treatment assignment or hysterectomy status. Estrogen alone or in combination with a progestin improves lipoproteins and lowers fibrinogen levels without detectable effects on postchallenge insulin or blood pressure. Unopposed estrogen is the optimal regimen for elevation of HDL-C, but the high rate of endometrial hyperplasia restricts use to women without a uterus. In women with a uterus, CEE with cyclic MP has the most favorable effect on HDL-C and no excess risk of endometrial hyperplasia.
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            A hepatic lipase (LIPC) allele associated with high plasma concentrations of high density lipoprotein cholesterol.

            Genetic factors strongly influence interindividual variation in plasma high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, but the specific genetic polymorphisms that confer heritable variation in HDL-C levels have not been identified. In this study we examined the relationship between polymorphism in LIPC, the gene encoding hepatic lipase, and plasma HDL-C concentrations using a sequential approach comprising linkage analysis, DNA sequencing, and association studies. Linkage studies in 1465 American white subjects from 218 nuclear families indicated that allelic variation at, or closely linked to, the hepatic lipase gene accounts for a significant fraction ( approximately 25%) of the variation in plasma HDL-C concentrations. The hepatic lipase gene was then sequenced in selected individuals, and four novel polymorphisms were identified in the 5' flanking region of the gene. These polymorphisms were in complete linkage disequilibrium and thus identified a single novel allele. Association studies indicated that heterozygosity for the rare allele was associated with modestly increased concentrations of plasma HDL-C (41 +/- 11 vs. 37 +/- 10 mg/dl, P < 0.05) and apolipoprotein AI in men (131 +/- 23 vs. 122 +/- 21 mg/dl, P < 0.05) but not in women. Homozygosity for the rare allele was associated with markedly higher plasma HDL-C (63 +/- 3 mg/dl) and apolipoprotein AI (153 +/- 9 mg/dl) concentrations in men. The results of the association study were replicated in a second, independently ascertained sample. Taken together, the results of the linkage and association studies provide strong evidence that genetic variation in hepatic lipase activity is a major determinant of plasma HDL-C levels.
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              Estrogen and progestin, lipoprotein(a), and the risk of recurrent coronary heart disease events after menopause.

              Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] has been identified as an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) events. However, few data exist on the clinical importance of Lp(a) lowering for CHD prevention. Hormone therapy with estrogen has been found to lower Lp(a) levels in women. To determine the relationships among treatment with estrogen and progestin, serum Lp(a) levels, and subsequent CHD events in postmenopausal women. The Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS), a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled secondary prevention trial conducted from January 1993 through July 1998 with a mean follow-up of 4.1 years at 20 centers. A total of 2763 postmenopausal women younger than 80 years with coronary artery disease and an intact uterus. Mean age was 66.7 years. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either conjugated equine estrogens, 0.625 mg, plus medroxyprogesterone acetate, 2.5 mg, in 1 tablet daily (n = 1380), or identical placebo (n = 1383). Lipoprotein(a) levels and CHD events (nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death). Increased baseline Lp(a) levels were associated with subsequent CHD events among women in the placebo arm. After multivariate adjustment, women in the second, third, and fourth quartiles of baseline Lp(a) level had relative hazards (RHs) (compared with the first quartile) of 1.01 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-1.59), 1.31 (95% CI, 0.85-2.04), and 1.54 (95% CI, 0.99-2.39), respectively, compared with women in the lowest quartile (P for trend = .03). Treatment with estrogen and progestin reduced mean (SD) Lp(a) levels significantly (-5.8 [15] mg/dL) (-0.20 [0.53] micromol/L) compared with placebo (0.3 [17] mg/dL) (0.01 [0.60] micromol/L) (P<.001). In a randomized subgroup comparison, women with low baseline Lp(a) levels had less benefit from estrogen and progestin than women with high Lp(a) levels; the RH for women assigned to estrogen and progestin compared with placebo were 1.49 (95% CI, 0.97-2.26) in the lowest quartile and 1.05 (95% CI, 0.67-1.65), 0.78 (0.52-1.18), and 0.85 (0.58-1.25) in the second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively (P for interaction trend = .03). Our data suggest that Lp(a) is an independent risk factor for recurrent CHD in postmenopausal women and that treatment with estrogen and progestin lowers Lp(a) levels. Estrogen and progestin therapy appears to have a more favorable effect (relative to placebo) in women with high initial Lp(a) levels than in women with low levels. This apparent interaction needs confirmation in other trials.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                July 2004
                02 July 2004
                : 62
                : 1
                : 1-9
                a2nd Department of Internal Medicine, bDepartment of General Medicine, and cDepartment of Medical Informatics and Decision Sciences, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, and dCardiovascular Hospital of Central Japan, Hokkitsu, Japan
                77399 Horm Res 2004;62:1–9
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 55, Pages: 9
                Original Paper


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