Estrogen Therapy: The Debate Continues


By: W. Langbein

The use of estrogen therapy by postmenopausal women has been widely debated in the past two years.

Published results from randomized studies have indicated a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer, among women on estrogen therapy.

Recently, however, the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle conducted a retrospective study of 6,000 women with diabetes. The researchers concluded that estrogen, with or without progestin, decreased the risk of cardiovascular events among those participating in the study.

Study author Katherine Newton explains the the Group Health study was observational, not randomized; and she also notes that the women in the observational study probably reflected a healthier population.

Estrogen therapy still can help alleviate menopausal symptoms, says Newton, for both diabetic and nondiabetic women. The relative risk for heart disease and cancer, she contends, needs to be examined further.

Diabetes Care, October 2003



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