Conference Report From the 10th World Congress on the Menopause

Professor Lorraine Dennerstein, AO MBBS, PHD, DPM, FRANZCP


July 03, 2002

In This Article

Effects of HRT on Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

The majority of observational studies previously reported suggest there is a cardioprotective effect of HRT. Dr. Ellen Loekkegaard[29] of the Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen University, Denmark, presented information on the effects of HRT on cardiovascular risk gathered in an observational longitudinal study of Danish nurses.[30,31] In 1993, all Danish nurses aged > 44 years were sent a questionnaire; 86% replied. Data were analyzed from 13,084 respondents who were postmenopausal and free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline. These women were divided into never users, past users, and current users of HRT. The cohort was followed to the end of 1998 using data from the National Patient Register of Hospital Discharges and Deaths. Deaths, myocardial infarctions, and ischemic heart disease were reported. Overall use of HRT was found to have a neutral effect on the aspects of ischemic heart disease studied, including risk of myocardial infarction or death. However, a significant interaction was found between use of HRT and diabetes, with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease and death for those diabetic women who ever used HRT. Dr Loekkegaard also reported that diabetic women were less likely to be prescribed HRT. She was not able to differentiate whether the women most at risk were those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. These results need to be confirmed by further study, but clinicians need to be aware of the potential for an adverse interaction of HRT in diabetic women.


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