A French study, part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, questioned 57, 664 women about their use of HRT and development of asthma symptoms every two years between 1990 and 2002. None of these women had asthma when menopausal symptoms began.
Compared with women who had never used any form of HRT, those who did use it were 21% more likely to develop asthma, after adjusting for factors likely to influence the results.
Almost one in 10 women with a natural menopause (9.4%), and more than one in four (28%) of those with a surgically induced menopause, used HRT containing oestrogen alone.
The risk of asthma was significant only among those using oestrogen alone. Among these women the overall risk of asthma was 54% higher than among those who had never used any form of HRT.
Oestrogen only users who had never smoked and those who had had some form of allergy before their asthma diagnosis were at greatest risk of developing asthma— 80% and 86% higher, respectively.
A small increased risk for asthma was also seen in women using combined oestrogen and progesterone HRT who were either non smokers or who had had some form of allergic reaction in the past.
The study is to be printed the journal Thorax.
Courtesy of EurekAlert
First Published in Febuary 2010
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