Individual effect of E2 and dydrogesterone on insulin sensitivity in post-menopausal women.

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a three-month continuous administration of oral E2, alone, or combined with 2 different dosages of dydrogesterone, on the glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women. In a prospective placebo-controlled study, 43 normal weight and normoinsulinemic women were randomized to receive either 2 mg of oral 17beta E2 daily (group A), or 2 mg E2 daily plus 5 mg daily oral dydrogesterone, from day 14 to 28, in a sequentially combined regimen (group B), or 2 mg of E2 and 10 mg dydrogesterone in the same sequentially combined regimen (group C) or placebo for 12 weeks. An OGTT and a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp were performed before and after treatment. Serum glucose and insulin concentrations were measured both in fasting conditions and after OGTT. C-peptide pancreatic secretion was tested only in fasting conditions. Total body glucose utilization (M), for insulin sensitivity evaluation, was determined in each subject. Postmenopausal women treated with unopposed 17beta E2 (group A) showed a slight but statistically significant decrease of insulin sensitivity (p<0.05). A more marked deterioration of the same parameter was observed in the 2 groups treated with E2 plus dydrogesterone (group B and group C: p<0.01). Post hoc testing for the percent change from baseline indicated that group A significantly differed from group C (p<0.05) and all treated groups significantly differed from the placebo group (p<0.01). Finally, after treatment in group C, a significant reduction of insulin and an increase of glucose responses to OGTT (p<0.01) were observed. These results indicate that, in a short-term period, the use of 17beta E2 and overall 17beta E2 plus dydrogesterone, even with the reduction of insulin plasma levels, might cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity in normal weight and normoinsulinemic post-menopausal women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-550
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • E2
  • diidrogesterone
  • dydrogesterone
  • post-menopausal


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