Sargeant, Lincoln A.; Wareham, N. J. ; Khaw, K. T.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute
Hormone replacement therapy and glucose tolerance in EPIC-Norfolk: A population-based study
Diabetes Metabolism Research Reviews
Date of Publication
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can affect glucose homeostasis in postmenopausal women but it is unclear whether long-term use is associated with changes in glucose tolerance. The objective was to examine the relationship of glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1C)) concentration with HRT use in non-diabetic postmenopausal women. A cross-sectional analysis of baseline data on 2753 postmenopausal women, aged 45-74 years who were recruited to the EPIC- Norfolk study between 1995 and 1998 was performed. Women completed a health and lifestyle questionnaire from which information on HRT use was obtained and gave blood for HbA(1C) assay. Of the women, 23% were current HRT users and 14% were former users. Mean HbA(1C) was significantly lower in current users compared to former and never users. This difference was independent of age, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), family history of diabetes, educational status, employment status, smoking history, history of alcohol consumption, parity, known illness and hysterectomy status. Compared to never users of HRT, the unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for being in the highest quintile of HbA(1C) distribution as opposed to the lowest was 0.28 (95% CI 0.20-0.39) for current users and 0.41 (0.32-0.53) for ever users. After adjustment for confounders, the OR were 0.52 (0.34-0.79) and 0.72 (0. 51-1.03) for current and ever users, respectively. Women currently using HRT have lower HbA(1C) levels not explained by known confounders though we cannot completely exclude a healthy user effect. Nevertheless, this population study suggest that current use of HRT was not associated with impairment of glucose tolerance in postmenopausal women.....