Serum lipids in postmenopausal or perimenopausal women using estrogen alone, estrogen with levonorgestrel, or estrogen with norethisterone, compared with nonusers: results from a cross-sectional study in two Norwegian counties 1985-1988.
The aim of this study was to compare, in a population setting of postmenopausal or perimenopausal women aged 40 to 54, the levels of serum lipids in women using different hormone replacement therapy (HRT) regimens with women using no sex hormones. There was no unequivocal tendency of a more healthy lifestyle among those using HRT than among nonusers. Any type of regimen was associated with a lower mean level of total and calculated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was 0.08 mmol/L (5.2%) higher in those using estrogen alone, 0.07 mmol/L (4.5%) higher in users of HRT with norethisterone, and 0.07 mmol/L (4.5%) lower in users of HRT with levonorgestrel, compared with nonusers. The ratio of total-to-HDL cholesterol was lower by 0.37 (6.1%) in those using estrogen alone, by 0.65 (12.3%) in those using HRT with norethisterone, and by 0.24 (5.3%) in those using estrogen with levonorgestrel. There was no association between body mass index and HDL-cholesterol among women who used HRT with norethisterone, whereas an inverse relationship was present in those using estrogen alone and in nonusers (P [interaction]