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Lower Diabetes Risk with Hormone Replacement Therapy: An Encore for Estrogen?

Peter W.F. Wilson, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Boston University School of Medicine; Boston, MA 02118

Grant Support: By National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contract N01-HC-38038, National Institutes of Health grant AR/AG 41398, and a grant from Roche Laboratories.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest:Consultancies, Honoraria, Grants received.

Requests for Single Reprints: Peter W.F. Wilson, MD, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Robinson B-611, Boston, MA 02118; e-mail, pwilson@bu.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(1):69-70. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-138-1-200301070-00015
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In this issue, Kanaya and colleagues (1) report a lower risk for new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus in postmenopausal women receiving combined estrogen–progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This news from the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) is encouraging because it comes from a well-conducted substudy within a clinical trial that has focused largely on cardiovascular outcomes. At the start of the study, the postmenopausal participants had fasting glucose levels measured and were categorized as normal, having impaired fasting glucose, or having diabetes. They were followed for the development of new type 2 diabetes mellitus over 4 years. Daily treatment with 0.625 mg of conjugated estrogen plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate resulted in a 35% lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus during follow-up.

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