Blood pressure, arterial function, structure, and aging: The role of hormonal replacement therapy in postmenopausal women

Angelo Scuteri, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The occurrence of natural menopause may indicate that a woman is entering a period of increased risk for cardiovascular disease, due to both chronologic aging and lower levels of estrogen. This brief review aims to demonstrate the relevance of changes in blood pressure and large artery structure and function occurring after menopause. These changes, i.e., thickening and stiffening of large arteries (which, in turn would also result in increased systolic and pulse pressures), were found to predict subsequent cardiovascular events, independently of other known cardiovascular risk. The benefits of early hormone replacement therapy on the life expectancy of women have dramatically lost consensus since publication of the Women's Health Initiative study results. However, the authors believe that those results should increase the attention paid by clinicians and public health researchers to the individualization of hormone replacement therapy prescription for postmenopausal women, and to a better characterization of those vascular parameters and profiles identifying postmenopausal women who are most likely to benefit from specific hormone replacement therapy in terms of cardiovascular protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this