Objectives. This study sought to evaluate the effects of postmenopausal estrogen use on mortality in aging women with congestive heart failure (CHF). Background. The age-related increase in CHF mortality in women may be related to a menopause-associated increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In addition to inhibiting coronary atherosclerosis, estrogen may also have protective effects on cardiac myocytes independent of the coronary vasculature. We hypothesized that estrogen use is associated with improved survival in elderly women with CHF. Methods. Associations between survival, estrogen use and patient characteristics were assessed in 1,134 women who were at least 50 years of age, had CHF and left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) ≤30% and were enrolled in one of three clinical trials of vesnarinone. Results. All-cause 12-month mortality was 15.0% among the 237 estrogen users versus 27.1% among the 897 estrogen nonusers (p = 0.004 for unadjusted comparison of survival). Similar results were observed for cardiac mortality. Regression analysis demonstrated that estrogen use was independently associated with improved survival (relative risk of mortality = 0.68, 95% confidence interval 0.48 to 0.96, p = 0.03). Advanced age, low EF, New York Heart Association class IV CHF, Caucasian race and abnormal serum creatinine, sodium, potassium and transaminase were independently associated with increased mortality. Conclusions. Estrogen use among older women with CHF is associated with decreased overall and cardiac mortality. (C) 2000 by the American College of Cardiology.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was sponsored, in part, by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical.