The Effect of Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy on Glucose Regulation in Women with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Blood glucose regulation in women with diabetes mellitus may change during and after menopause, which could be attributed, in part, to decreased estrogen levels.
To determine the effect of postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) on HbA1c, fasting glucose, postprandial glucose, and use of glucose lowering drugs in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
A systematic search was conducted in Medline, Embase, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and the clinicaltrials.gov registry to identify randomized-controlled trials (RCTs).
We selected RCTs on the effect of HT containing estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women (≥12 months since final menstrual period) with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Data were extracted for the following outcomes: HbA1c, fasting glucose, postprandial glucose, and the use of glucose lowering medication.
Nineteen RCTs were included (12 parallel-group trials and 7 crossover trials), with a total of 1,412 participants, of which 4.0% had type 1 diabetes. HT reduced HbA1c (mean difference -0.56% [95% CI -0.80, -0.31], -6.08 mmol/mol [95% CI -8.80, -3.36]) and fasting glucose (mean difference -1.15 mmol/L [95% CI -1.78, -0.51]).
Fifty percent of included studies were at high risk of bias.
When postmenopausal HT is being considered for menopausal symptoms in women with type 2 diabetes, HT is expected to have a neutral to beneficial impact on glucose regulation. Evidence for the effect of postmenopausal HT in women with type 1 diabetes was limited.