2022 RIC Award Honourable Mentions: Nabilah Gulamhusein

Nabilah Gulamhusein received honourable mentions for her project, Route of Post-Menopausal Estrogen Administration and Cardiovascular Risk.

About project

Globally, 60,000 individuals become menopausal daily, and it is estimated that by the year 2025, there will be more than a billion menopausal individuals on the planet. More than 75% of menopausal individuals will experience vasomotor symptoms, a debilitating constellation of symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, which may persist for several years. These symptoms may be alleviated with the use of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, as recommended by North American guidelines. However, previous literature has demonstrated that postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy may be associated with increased cardiovascular risk, although whether one takes postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy orally (by mouth) or not may influence this risk. As a result, my master’s thesis will focus on determining if the route of estrogen administration in postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy is associated with cardiovascular health and determining the mechanism by which this occurs. We hypothesize that oral forms of estrogen will be associated with an increased blood pressure and other measures of cardiovascular health, when compared to transdermal (through the skin) routes of estrogen administration, because the way it is metabolized by the body is different. This will be assessed by comparing markers of cardiovascular health (blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and renin angiotensin aldosterone system activity) in individuals on oral forms of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and individuals on transdermal forms of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy. The findings from this research program will inform clinicians of optimal delivery and provide women and their healthcare providers with evidence to make informed choices regarding their health.

About award recipient

Nabilah is a MSc student within the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She recently graduated with a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary. Currently, Nabilah is working under the supervision of Dr. Sofia Ahmed, MD, where she is investigating the association between the route of estrogen administration in postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and cardiovascular risk. Nabilah hopes to become a leader in women’s cardiovascular health research and improve patient outcomes.