Hormone replacement therapy (particularly estrogen) may increase asthma risk

Women who used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were 21% more likely to be diagnosed with asthma than those women who never used HRT.

Women who used estrogen-only HRT were 54% more likely to develop asthma compared to their “natural” menopause counterparts.

Estrogen and asthma pathogenesis have been studied, but the findings are equivocal. Estrogen is known to have both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects.

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and suffer greater morbidity than men. Medscape, 2011.
Image source: Estriol. Wikipedia, public domain.


Arin Basu - Interesting findings. I could not access the full text, but a few facts need to be taken into consideration:
* The effects are small; would be interesting to see what the risk differences are. Think for instance,
* Overall incidence was around 12.8 per 10, 000 person-years, over a period of 12 years, so roughly about 1 in 1000 women using HRT might develop asthma annually?
* There are subgroups of women who appear to be more susceptible than others:
[ Excerpt: The increase in risk of asthma onset was only significant among women reporting the use of oestrogen alone (HR=1.54, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.09) particularly in never smokers (HR=1.80, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.80) and women reporting allergic disease prior to asthma onset (HR=1.86, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.93). A small increase in the risk of asthma onset associated with the use of oestrogen/progestagen was also observed in these subgroups.]

? So, smoking reduces the risk?
Anyway, very interesting study and thanks for pointing it out.

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