Author(s): Heikkinen AM, Tuppurainen MT, Niskanen L, Komulainen M, Penttil I,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The positive short-term effects of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on serum lipids are well known, but it has been suggested that they vanish with time. Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is widely used to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis but the influence of vitamin D3 on serum lipids is poorly known. The long-term effects of HRT and vitamin D3 on the concentrations of serum lipids were studied in a population-based prospective 3-year study. DESIGN AND METHODS: 464 women were randomized into four treatment groups: (i) HRT (sequential combination of 2 mg estradiol valerate and 1 mg cyproterone acetate), (ii) Vit D3 (vitamin D3 300 IU/day), (iii) HRT+Vit D3 (both as above), (iv) placebo (calcium lactate 500 mg/day). RESULTS: 320 women completed the study. After three years of treatment, serum concentrations of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol decreased in the HRT group (10.1\%, P<0.001) and the HRT+Vit D3 group (5.9\%, P=0.005), increased in the Vit D3 group (4.1\%, P=0.035) but remained unchanged in the placebo group. The concentrations of total cholesterol decreased by 5.8\% in the HRT group (P<0.001) and by 3.3\% in the HRT+Vit D3 group (P=0.023), but did not change in the other two groups. Serum concentrations of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreased in the Vit D3 group (5.2\%, P=0.001), HRT+Vit D3 group (3.7\%, P=0.046), and the placebo group (4.5\%, P=0.006) but did not change significantly in the HRT group. The HDL/LDL ratio increased in the HRT group (10.5\%, P=0.006) and decreased in the Vit D3 group (10.5\%, P<0.001) whereas no changes occurred in the other two groups. In addition, serum triglycerides increased similarly in all groups (14.0-18.8\%, P<0.05-0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm the positive long-term effect of HRT with sequential estradiol valerate and cyproterone acetate on serum lipid concentrations. In addition, the results suggest that vitamin D3 supplementation may have unfavorable effects on lipids in postmenopausal women. Pure vitamin D3 treatment was associated with increased serum LDL cholesterol. Furthermore, the beneficial effects of HRT on serum LDL cholesterol content were reduced when estradiol valerate was combined with vitamin D3. However, the relevance of these associations to cardiovascular morbidity remains to be established.
This article was published in Eur J Endocrinol
and referenced in Autism-Open Access