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Effect of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on periodontal status of postmenopausal women

Giuseppe Pizzo, Rosario Guiglia, Maria E. Licata, Ignazio Pizzo, Joan M. Davis, Giovanna Giuliana

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(4): PH23-27

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881700

Background:    The risks/benefits balance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the periodontal status of a postmenopausal women group receiving HRT and to determine the effects of HRT on clinical measures of periodontal disease.
    Material/Methods:    Ninety-one postmenopausal women, 52 taking HRT (HRT+) and 39 not taking HRT (HRT–), completed the study. Clinical parameters measured included visible supragingival plaque, probing pocket depth (PD) and clinical attachment level (CAL). Gingival status was recorded as gingival bleeding on probing (BOP). Previous oral contraceptive use and current and past smoking status were also assessed.
    Results:    Data indicated that PD and CAL were not significantly different between HRT+ patients and HRT– patients (P=0.8067 and P=0.1627, respectively). The HRT+ group exhibited significantly lower visible plaque levels compared to the control group (P<0.0001). The percentage of gingival sites with positive BOP was significantly lower in the HRT+ group compared to the HRT– group (34.85% vs. 65.15%; P=0.0007). Plaque accumulation was also tested in ANCOVA as a possible explanatory variable for the differences observed in gingival bleeding. The ANCOVA showed no significant differences in gingival bleeding between HRT+ and HRT– women (P=0.4677). No significant differences in past smoking status and oral contraceptive use were detected between HRT+ and HRT– women (P=0.9999 and P=0.0845, respectively).
    Conclusions:    These findings indicated that long-term HRT was not associated with relevant effects on periodontal status and clinical measures of periodontal disease, thus suggesting that HRT may not confer protection against periodontitis in postmenopausal women.

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