• blood pressure;
  • postmenopausal women;
  • raloxifene;
  • renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system

Aim:  An increase in blood pressure after menopause has been documented. The renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a central role in the regulation of blood pressure and in the pathophysiology of hypertension. This study investigated the effects of raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, on components of the RAAS and blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive osteoporotic postmenopausal women.

Methods:  A total of 41 hypertensive or normotensive postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia were divided into four groups. Eleven hypertensive and eight normotensive women received raloxifene hydrochloride (60 mg/day) p.o. for 6 months, and 12 hypertensive and 10 normotensive women did not receive raloxifene hydrochloride for 6 months. In all of the hypertensive women, blood pressure had been controlled prior to the start of the study using a variety of antihypertensive drugs other than angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin (Ang)II type 1 receptor antagonists or diuretics. Plasma renin activity (PRA), serum ACE activity, plasma AngI, AngII and aldosterone concentrations, and blood pressure were measured before and 6 months after the start of the study.

Results:  No significant changes in PRA, ACE activity, or the AngI, AngII or aldosterone levels were observed in any of the groups. In all the groups, blood pressure remained unchanged.

Conclusion:  Raloxifene may have no significant effect on the RAAS or blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive osteoporotic postmenopausal women.