Skip to content

The Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention Study is a prospective population-based cohort study. In a new publication [1], the effect of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the new incidence of diabetes mellitus was examined. Almost 8500 women in the early postmenopause were followed over a 5-year period. Almost one-third of the women were current users of HRT whilst around one-quarter had previously used HRT. The diagnosis of new diabetes was ascertained from the registry of specially refunded drugs which gives the right to full reimbursement for drugs used in chronic illnesses following a physician’s diagnosis. The incidence of diabetes was slightly reduced in past users of HRT (hazard ratio (HR) 0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57–1.16), further reduced in HRT users for < 2½ years’ duration (HR 0.53; 95% CI 0.24–1.15), and significantly reduced in HRT users for > 2½ years’ duration (HR 0.31; 95% CI 0.16–0.60). There were some baseline differences between HRT users and non-users. The HRT users were slightly younger, had lower body mass index, lower parity, lower prevalence of hypertension and greater prevalence of hysterectomy. However, the analyses were adjusted for these factors. The type and dose of HRT were not recorded, although this population is thought to reflect the use of oral 17β-estradiol, with or without a progestogen.


  • John Stevenson
    National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK


  1. Pentti K, Tuppurainen M, Honkanen R, et al. Hormone therapy protects from diabetes: the Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention Study. Eur J Endocrinol 2009; March 25 [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Manson JE, Rimm EB, Colditz GA, et al. A prospective study of postmenopausal estrogen therapy and subsequent incidence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Ann Epidemiol 1992;2:665-73.
  3. Kanaya AM, Herrington D, Vittinghoff E, et al. Glycemic effects of postmenopausal hormone therapy: the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study. Ann Intern Med 2003;138:1-9.
  4. Margolis KL, Bonds DE, Rodabough RJ, et al. Effect of oestrogen plus progestin on the incidence of diabetes in postmenopausal women: results from the Womens Health Initiative hormone trial. Diabetologia 2004;47:1175-87.
  5. Bonds DE, Lasser N, Qi L, et al. The effect of conjugated equine oestrogen on diabetes incidence: the Womens Health Initiative randomised trial. Diabetologia 2006;49:459-68.
  6. Rossi R, Origliani G, Modena MG. Transdermal 17β-estradiol and risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a population of healthy, nonobese postmenopausal women. Diabetes Care 2004;27:645-9.
  7. Stevenson JC. Hormone replacement therapy and carbohydrate metabolism. In Marsh MS, Compston JE, eds. Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Menopause. London: Dunitz, 2002:101-3.
International Menopause Society

Install International Menopause Society - DEV

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”