Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on carbohydrate and lipid metabolisms and cardiovascular risk parameters in healthy postmenopausal women.
Methods: Forty women receiving and 38 women not receiving HRT were included and baseline and sixth month blood pressure, weight, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, blood lipid profile, inflammatory markers (homocysteine, C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and insulin, and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) results were evaluated.
Results: The mean age was 52.6+/-4.9 and 52.2+/-5.0 years in the HRT and Control Groups, respectively. Whereas there was no change in the Controls, the weight, waist/hip ratio, and BMI increased and diastolic blood pressure decreased in the HRT patients. LDL-c, VLDL-c and lipoprotein (a) levels were significantly higher in the HRT Group in the sixth month; however, total cholesterol and LDL-c increased in the Controls but VLDL-c and lipoprotein (a) did not. CRP and homocysteine significantly increased and fibrinogen decreased, whereas in the Control Group no significant change was detected. A significant improvement in HbA1c and OGTT was found in both the groups, whereas a significant reduction was measured only in the HRT Group.
Conclusions: In response to 6 months of HRT, there was an increase in weight, BMI, and waist/hip ratio as known cardiovascular risk factors, but no significant impact on lipid profile and glucose metabolism could have been clearly demonstrated. A mixed effect profile of HRT on the state of inflammation (increase in CRP and homocysteine, decrease in fibrinogen) was observed.