Effects of hormone replacement therapy on glucose and lipid profiles and on cardiovascular risk parameters in postmenopausal women

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2010 May;281(5):857-64. doi: 10.1007/s00404-009-1169-y. Epub 2009 Jul 11.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Estradiol / adverse effects
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Estrogens / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / chemically induced*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Norethindrone / adverse effects
  • Norethindrone / analogs & derivatives
  • Norethindrone Acetate
  • Postmenopause / metabolism
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Estrogens
  • Lipoproteins
  • Homocysteine
  • Estradiol
  • Fibrinogen
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Norethindrone Acetate
  • Norethindrone