Among other benefits, Hormone therapy may decrease incidence of diabetes in women
Hormone therapy is advocated in postmenopausal women to help balance estrogen and progesterone in women around the time of menopause. It can help relieve sweating, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Moreover, several observational studies suggest that the use of estrogen replacement therapy decreases the risk of coronary heart disease and lowers overall mortality rates.
Among other benefits, hormone therapy decreases the number of metabolites that are directly linked with Type 2 diabetes, finds a new study. In the WHI trials, the incidence of diabetes was reduced with the use of hormone therapy. The research has been published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) remains one of the most highly quoted when debating the benefits and risks of hormone therapy. Now a new study based on WHI data demonstrates that, among other benefits, hormone therapy decreases the number of metabolites that are directly linked with Type 2 diabetes. Study results were presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, September 25 to 28, 2019.
In the WHI trials, the incidence of diabetes was reduced with the use of hormone therapy, particularly combined estrogen and progestin therapy. The new study utilized data from a prior study which measured approximately 370 metabolites on 1,362 women involved in the WHI. Researchers in the current study selected nine metabolites that were previously found to be strongly associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes in other studies to see if they were affected by randomized hormone therapy.
Of the nine targeted metabolites, seven were significantly decreased with the use of hormone therapy consisting of a combination of estrogen and progestin.
"Interestingly, we found that the decreases were more pronounced with the use of estrogen and progestin combined than with estrogen alone," says Dr Heather Hirsch, lead author of the study from The Ohio State University Medical Center. "This result parallels the findings from the WHI on the effect of hormone therapy on the incidence of type 2 diabetes."
"It's valuable for healthcare providers to better understand the full spectrum of potential risks and benefits of hormone therapy for the management of menopausal symptoms, particularly given the debilitating effects of diabetes and its increased incidence in the United States," says Dr Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
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