For most menopausal women - especially those under the age of 60 - the benefits of taking HRT outweigh any potential risks.
London: Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have found that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) may lower 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 from Queen Mary University of London.
For the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers examined the left ventricular (LV) and left atrial (LA) structure and function in 1,604 post-menopausal women, who were free of known cardiovascular disease, and 32 per cent of whom had used MHT for at least three years.
They found that MHT use was not associated with adverse changes in cardiac structure and function.
Indeed, significantly smaller LV and LA chamber volumes were observed, which have been linked to favourable cardiovascular outcomes, including lower mortality and risk of heart failure, in other settings.
They also looked at LV mass - one of the most important characteristics observed in cardiovascular imaging, with increases in LV mass predicting a higher incidence of cardiovascular events and mortality.
Importantly, they found no significant difference in LV mass between the two groups of women.
"For most menopausal women - especially those under the age of 60 - the benefits of taking HRT outweigh any potential risks.
However, each woman's situation is different so please speak to your GP about whether HRT is appropriate for you," Sanghvi said.
"However, women should not take MHT specifically to improve their heart health, as this study does not consider all of the ways this therapy affects our cardiovascular health," researchers said.