The American Physiological Society Press Release

press release logo

APS Contact: APS Communications Office

Email: communications@the-aps.org

Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @APSPhysiology


Long-Term Use of Postmenopausal Estrogen Treatment May Impair Kidney Function

Bethesda, Md. (November 29, 2016)—Long-term estrogen treatment after menopause may increase the risk of new kidney damage and negatively affect women with abnormal kidney function. New research published in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology finds that markers for kidney damage worsened in a rat model of menopause as the length of estrogen treatment increased.

The harmful effect of high blood pressure on the blood vessels is one cause of kidney damage. Estrogen seems to protect against high blood pressure—fewer premenopausal women have high blood pressure than men of the same age—but after menopause, these benefits appear to diminish. Researchers from Tulane University in New Orleans studied a breed of rats that mimic the gender-specific blood pressure differences observed in humans to see if long-term hormone treatment negatively affects the kidneys.

The research team studied three groups of middle-aged rats without ovaries, which simulates the low estrogen environment of menopause. One group (“short-term”) was given a short course of estrogen. A second group (“long-term”) received a longer regimen of estrogen. The estrogen groups were compared to a control group that did not receive hormones.

Researchers found that after the hormone treatments, the long-term group had more damage to the tiny tubes that collect and carry urine than the short-term and control groups. The rate at which the kidneys filtered blood decreased, and creatinine levels and protein in the urine (markers of impaired kidney function) increased in the rats receiving long-term estrogen. The long-term group showed more kidney damage in each marker than the short-term or control groups.

The researchers explain that their “findings suggest that the duration of hormone therapy may be an important factor for renal health in aging postmenopausal women,” especially in people with preexisting kidney damage.

Read the full article “Long- but not Short-term Estradiol Treatment Induces Renal Damage in Midlife Ovariectomized Long Evans Rats,” in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology. 

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

 


RelatedItems

Cigarette Smoke Exposure Increases Scar Tissue in the Kidney and Heart, Study Finds

Released December 1, 2016 - Smoking may lead to fibrosis in the heart and kidneys and can worsen existing kidney disease, according to a new study published in Physiological Genomics. The research team suggests that exposure to cigarette smoke negatively affects genetic messaging that controls tissue scarring.

Why the Bloating During Menopause? Blame the Hormones or the Lack of Them

Released June 22, 2015 - Many women experience water retention and bloating when their hormone levels change, but how sex hormones affect water balance is not understood. A new study offers an explanation, finding that sex hormones can directly control how the body reabsorbs water.

Not the Weaker Sex: Estrogen Protects Women Against the Flu, Study Finds

Released January 12, 2016 - A new study published in American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology finds that the female sex hormone estrogen has anti-viral effects against the influenza A virus, commonly known as the flu. The study supports why the flu may hit men harder than women.

From: 
Email:  
To: 
Email:  
Subject: 
Message:

~/Custom.Templates/PressRelease.aspx