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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 413920, 8 pages
Review Article

Coronary Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women with Type II Diabetes Mellitus and the Impact of Estrogen Replacement Therapy: A Narrative Review

1Department of Medical Sciences and Pediatrics, Catheterization Laboratory and Cardiovascular Interventional Unit, Cannizzaro Hospital, University of Catania, Via Messina 829, 95126 Catania, Italy
2IRCCS Policlinico S. Donato, Via Morandi 30, 20097 Milano, Italy

Received 25 February 2014; Accepted 6 June 2014; Published 17 July 2014

Academic Editor: Maria Chiara Rossi

Copyright © 2014 Marouane Boukhris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coronary heart disease is the main cause of death in postmenopausal women (PMW); moreover its mortality exceeds those for breast cancer in women at all ages. Type II diabetes mellitus is a major cardiovascular risk factor and there is some evidence that the risk conferred by diabetes is greater in women than in men. It was established that the deficiency of endogenous estrogens promotes the atherosclerosis process. However, the impact of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) on cardiovascular prevention remains controversial. Some authors strongly recommend it, whereas others revealed a concerning trend toward harm. This review tries to underlines the different components of cardiovascular risk in diabetic PMW and to define the place of ERT.