CHICAGO – The use of Evista, a drug to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis, cut the risk of stroke by nearly two-thirds in women at high risk for heart disease, researchers said yesterday.
The data was presented at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago by Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, professor of family and preventative medicine at the University of California San Diego. The data showed the Eli Lilly & Co. drug was linked with a 62 percent reduction in the risk of all strokes in postmenopausal women at high risk for heart disease.
The research comes in the wake of recent findings by a Women’s Health Initiative study that showed Wyeth’s hormone replacement therapy, Prempro, which often is prescribed for postmenopausal osteoporosis, increased the risk of stroke by 41 percent.
The WHI study’s results, released in July, triggered a huge debate over how doctors treat postmenopausal women.
Lilly’s Evista findings were part of a four-year study of 7,705 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
“These data are particularly interesting in light of recent findings from the WHI trial examining hormone therapy,” Barrett-Connor said. “While raloxifene and hormone therapy are both prescribed for osteoporosis, the WHI data showed that combined estrogen-progestin hormone therapy actually increased the risk of stroke.”
Copyright 2002 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD (neurology, child neurology)
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Re: Women’s drug shown to reduce stroke risk, 11/18/02
Drug company money and influence is rife throughout medical academia and research. All research must be questioned; a tragic state of affairs, that they alone are responsible for.
In the wake of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study concluding that hormone replacement therapy (Prempro, Wyeth) was associated, with a 41 per cent increase in stroke-proclaiming that Evista, an Eli Lilly drug for post-menopausal, osteoporosis, was linked with a 62 percent reduction of all stokes in postmenopausal women (at high risk for cardiovascular disease) would surely translate to rush to prescribe, resulting in sales in the multi-millions, if not, billions (like Prempro). The Union-Tribune would serve it’s readers by asking Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, her department head, and Dean (UCSD School of Medicine) how much money they have received from Eli Lilly for this and related research over the past 10 years. They should also be asked if the manufacturer (Lilly) was accorded the opportunity to review the manuscript prior to it’s presentation at the recent American Heart Association meeting.