March 20, 2001

OSTEOPOROSIS DRUG FOUND TO NOT CAUSE CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS

Embargoed for Release, March 21, 8:30 a.m. EST

UCSD School of Medicine researchers have found that raloxifene, an estrogen-receptor modulator, may improve cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women being treated for osteoporosis. The study also shows that, in contrast to other studies of hormone replacement therapy with estrogen, raloxifene does not appear to increase cardiovascular risks.

The Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Evaluation (MORE) study, led by Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, M.D., UCSD School of Medicine professor of family and preventive medicine, involved 7,705 osteoporotic postmenopausal women. The study primarily tests raloxifene’s effects on osteoporosis, but also found that the drug can improve serum cholesterol and other risk factors associated with cardiovascular episodes such as heart attacks or stroke. Dr. Barrett-Connor will be presenting the MORE findings at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando on Wednesday, March 21 at 8:30 a.m.

During three years follow up in the MORE study, it was found that raloxifene therapy was associated with neither an increase nor a decrease in cardiovascular events. These findings are encouraging as estrogen replacement therapy has been found the increase cardiovascular risks. Dr. Barrett-Connor said these findings from the MORE study open the door for further research of raloxifene for the prevention of heart disease in postmenopausal women.

In fact, UCSD School of Medicine is currently in its second year of a seven-year study on the safety and efficacy of raloxifene in women with heart disease or risk factors for the disease. The study is called the RUTH trial (Raloxifene Use for the Heart).

*As Dr. Barrett-Connor is at the meeting in Orlando, her colleague and collaborator, Cynthia Stuenkel, M.D., will be available for media interviews on the findings Tuesday, March 20 or Wednesday, March 21.

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Media Contact: Kate Deely Smith
619-543-6163  kdeely@ucsd.edu