Hormone replacement therapy may help protect kidney health, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3-8 in the US.
The effect of hormone replacement therapy on kidney function in postmenopausal women is unclear. To investigate, Andrea Kattah, MD, Vesna Garovic, MD (Mayo Clinic), and their colleagues studied 2217 postmenopausal women who participated in the Family Blood Pressure Program, a multi-network study aimed at analyzing the genetics of hypertension. A total of 673 women were taking hormone replacements and 1544 were not.
The researchers found that the prevalence of two markers of kidney disease - microalbuminuria and decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate - was significantly lower in women who were taking hormone replacement therapy as compared with women who were not. After adjusting for known risk factors for kidney and cardiovascular disease, the use of hormone replacement therapy remained significantly associated with lower levels of microalbuminuria.
"The risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women are still an area of active debate, and the effect of hormone replacement therapy on the kidney has shown variable results," said Dr Kattah. "Clarifying the role of hormones on kidney function may have implications for explaining gender differences in chronic kidney disease, counseling women on the use of hormone replacement therapy, and future therapeutic targets for patients with chronic kidney disease," said Dr Kattah.