Wagner JD, Martino MA, Jayo MJ, Anthony MS, Clarkson TB, Cefalu WT. The effects of hormone replacement therapy on carbohydrate metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors in surgically postmenopausal cynomolgus monkeys. Metabolism. 1996 Oct;45(10):1254-62.

Controversy exists regarding the effects of estrogen and estrogen/progestin replacement therapies on glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Also unknown are whether changes in glucose tolerance and insulin resistance with hormone therapy affect arterial glycation and atherosclerosis. We studied ovariectomized female monkeys fed a lipid-lowering diet and given either no hormone replacement therapy (n = 25) or conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) alone (n = 22) or combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate ([MPA] n = 21) for 30 months. Monkeys receiving combined hormone replacement had significantly higher fasting glucose and insulin levels and higher insulin responses to a glucose challenge compared with controls or those given estrogen alone. Monkeys given estrogen-only therapy had lower body weights, lower measures of abdominal adiposity, and decreased serum androgen concentrations. However, due to the effective dietary lipid decrease, there was no additional effect of hormone treatment on atherosclerosis. Also, there was no correlation between either arterial glycation or insulin levels and atherosclerosis extent. Thus, although there were adverse effects of combined hormone replacement therapy on carbohydrate metabolism, we were unable to determine whether these effects altered the extent of atherosclerosis.

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