Objects: To investigate the effect of combined estrogen and progesterone therapy on insulin resistance (IR) and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in postmenopausal women (PMW) with impaired (IGT) and normal glucose tolerance (NGT). Methods: Sixteen Japanese PMW with IGT and 33 with NGT received daily oral hormone replacement therapy (HRT; 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogen plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate) for 12 months. As controls, 13 Japanese PMW with IGT and 31 with NGT were enrolled and not treated by HRT. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), fasting immunoreactive insulin (IRI), and IR were measured in each subject at study initiation and 12 months later. We used homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) to determine IR. Results: FPG and HOMA IR were decreased in both HRT groups, and fasting IRI was reduced in the HRT-NGT group. In controls, FPG, fasting IRI, and HOMA IR were unaltered. Total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were decreased and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was increased in both HRT groups, but triglyceride was unchanged. In controls, lipid metabolism was unaltered. Conclusion: HRT decreased IR and improved carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in Japanese PMW with IGT and NGT. These beneficial effects argue for the use of HRT in PMW with IGT as well as NGT.

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