Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate an oral low-dose estrogen therapy on bone mineral density (BMD) and quantitative ultrasonometry (QUS) in osteopenic postmenopausal women.
Material and methods: This prospective, open-label cohort study investigated 120 postmenopausal hysterectomized women. Forty-seven women had been treated with 0.3 mg conjugated equine estrogen daily (ET). Primary end point was the change in BMD at the spine after 24 months. Secondary end points were among other changes in QUS at the os calcis and phalanges.
Results: After matching 42 participants in the ET group, 42 controls were analyzed. The change in BMD differed significantly after 24 months (p = 0.019). Women on ET showed significant increase of spine and hip Z-score, whereas controls showed significant decreases in spine and total hip BMD. In QUS of the os calcis and the phalanges, a number of variables showed a significant improvements with ET.
Conclusion: Our results comprised a positive effect of an oral low-dose estrogen therapy on BMD. Limitations of the study are the small sample size and the open-label, non-randomized cohort study design. The findings are in accordance to the common literature and support the use of ET in the primary prevention of postmenopausal bone loss.