One Study Shows Estrogen May Lower Risk for Heart Disease; Another Says It Could Increase Risk

Estrogen molecule.

| Dec 1, 2001

Taking estrogen decreases the risk of heart disease slightly in post-menopausal women with diabetes, say researchers in New Zealand. Patrick J. Manning, MBChB, and colleagues, from the departments of medicine at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, demonstrated positive changes in the blood cholesterol and blood-clotting factors of middle-aged women with diabetes when they were given hormone replacement therapy. Findings were published in the July 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In a randomized, controlled, crossover study, 61 women were given continuous hormone replacement therapy or a placebo, in increments of six months, with an eight-week washout period between the treatments. Cholesterol, blood-clotting and glucose levels were measured before and after the treatment.

During the treatment, total cholesterol concentrations decreased by seven percent; LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased by 12 percent; and lipoprotein A decreased by 21 percent. Also, concentrations of fibrinogen (a blood-clotting factor) decreased by eight percent, and fructosamine concentrations (a short-term measure of average glucose control) decreased by five percent.

Hormone replacement therapy "has beneficial effects" on these "markers" for heart disease, conclude the researchers.

It is also being suggested that estrogen increases a woman's chance of getting microalbuminuria, or increased levels of albumin—protein in the urine—say researchers in Holland.

Microalbuminuria, a risk factor for both kidney and heart disease, was found in women who took birth control pills (before menopause) and in those who took hormone replacement therapy (after menopause). Also, people with diabetes are at higher risk for kidney and heart disease. Wilbert M. T. Janssen and colleagues, from the University of Groningen, Holland, published these findings in the September 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied the levels of microalbuminuria in 3,305 women ages 28 to 75 who participated in the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End Stage Disease Study.

Researchers said the use of birth control pills increased the women's chance of having microalbuminuria by 90 percent, according to Reuters Medical News. Those who took hormone replacement therapy doubled their risk of getting microalbuminuria. In addition, those who took hormone replacement therapy for five years or more had a higher chance of developing high levels of the protein than those who took it for less than five years.

Women who take estrogen "may have an increased risk" for heart disease and attendant death, researchers conclude. However, researchers also point out that further studies need to be done.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Heart Care & Heart Disease, International, Research

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 0 comments - Dec 1, 2001

©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.