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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, September 17, 2007

WSJ: Clue to estrogen and heart health found

Texas scientists may have found an explanation for why estrogen failed to protect some older women from heart disease in the Women's Health Initiative, a finding a Boston researcher called "intriguing" in today's Wall Street Journal.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas say a molecule created when the body processes cholesterol may block estrogen from helping blood vessels stay healthy, the story says. In women long past menopause, such as those who were in the Women's Health Initiative, these molecules may have taken over estrogen receptors and blocked the effects of the hormone they started taking, the theory goes.

Dr. JoAnn Manson of Brigham and Women's Hospital and a principal investigator for the WHI, told the Journal that the Texas work may explain why women with high cholesterol did worse on hormone therapy than those with low cholesterol.

"Their overall finding ties together very nicely with the clinical-trial results," Manson said in the story. "This could help fit pieces of the puzzle together."

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 11:27 AM
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