Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Menopause Health Center

Font Size

HRT May Reduce Diabetes Risk

But Hormone Therapy Still Isn't for Everyone


"These findings are scientifically interesting, but they need confirmation by further studies," says Kanaya. "It is premature to recommend the use of hormone replacement therapy for the prevention of diabetes."

Karen E. Friday, MD, associate professor of medicine at Tulane University, agrees that further studies are needed and says her great hope is that the negative press about HRT in recent months has not halted research on estrogens because there is more that we need to know.

According to Friday, both animal and human studies suggest that estrogen plays a significant role in how the body regulates the sugar glucose, and she says we don't yet understand all of the potential mechanisms and influences of various forms of estrogen on diabetes.

Since diabetes is known to greatly increase a person's risk of heart disease, finding a way to safely reduce that additional risk through the use of HRT could have tremendous potential.

"For example, if you're a postmenopausal woman that hasn't developed heart disease, preventing diabetes -- in theory -- might help you prevent future heart disease," says Friday. "But if you're a diabetic woman who's already faces an increased risk of heart disease, does taking estrogen now make that better or worse? That question remains to be answered."

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan. 7, 2003 • Alka M. Kanaya, MD, assistant professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco • Eugene Barrett, MD, president-elect, American Diabetes Association • Karen E. Friday, MD, associate professor of medicine, Tulane University • WebMD Feature: "Conflicting Studies Muddy HRT Waters."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
Is it menopause or something else?
senior couple
mature woman shopping for produce
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
mature couple on boat
mature woman tugging on her loose skin
senior woman wearing green hat
estrogen gene

WebMD Special Sections