London: Menopausal hormone therapy, used to treat hot flashes, sleep disturbances and vaginal dryness, may also have the potential to lower risk of heart failure, say researchers, led by one of Indian origin.
The study found that menopausal hormone therapy caused significantly smaller change in the structure and function of left ventricle and left arterial chamber in the human heart.
This has been linked to favourable cardiovascular outcomes, including lower mortality and risk of heart failure.
"This is the first study to look at the relationship between the use of menopausal hormone therapy and subtle changes in the structure and function of the heart, which can be predictors of future heart problems," said Mihir Sanghvi, research fellow at the Queen Mary University of London.
Importantly, the use of hormone therapy was not associated with adverse changes in cardiac structure and function.
"For most menopausal women -- especially those under the age of 60 -- the benefits of taking hormone therapy outweigh any potential risks," Sanghvi added.
For the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers examined the structure and function of the left ventricular and left atrial in 1,604 post-menopausal women, who were free of known cardiovascular disease, and 32 per cent of whom had used hormone therapy for at least three years.
"However, women shouldn't take hormone therapy specifically to improve their heart health, as this study doesn't consider all of the ways this therapy affects our cardiovascular health," the researchers warned.