In a recent publication in the journal Menopause, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the correlation between ever or current menopausal hormone therapy (HT) use and the incidence of GERD.
The authors wrote, “Previous research has associated female gender with symptomatic GERD, attributed to elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone seen during pregnancy and with oral contraceptive use. However, the association between hormone therapy and GERD in postmenopausal women remains unclear.”
The authors noted that the systematic review and meta-analysis are intended to provide a single summary estimate of the HT effect on GERD and to gain more insight into the combined HT effect on GERD since the results from prior studies were varied.
The researchers utilized data from studies published between 2008 and August 31, 2022, and combined them using a DerSimonian and Laird random-effects model. Outcomes were reported as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with a corresponding 95% CI.
In the pooled analysis of five studies, researchers discovered a considerable direct correlation between estrogen use and GERD (aOR 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.66; I2 = 97.6%). They also noted a significant direct correlation between progestogen use and GERD (two studies: aOR 1.39; 95% CI, 1.15-1.64; I2 = 0.0%). The use of combined HT was also correlated with GERD (1.16; 95% CI, 1.00-1.33; I2 = 87.9%).
The authors also indicated that overall, the use of HT was correlated with 29% higher odds for GERD (aOR 1.29; 95% CI, 1.17-1.42; I2 = 94.8%) and the large number of pooled participants, differences in study design, geography, patient characteristics, and outcome assessment resulted in noteworthy high heterogeneity.
Based on the meta-analysis results, the authors indicated that ever or current HT use is correlated with GERD, which warrants patient-centered discussions focused on GERD risk factors when assessing women with menopause symptoms and considering the risks and benefits of HT for symptom management.
“Our results identified a significant association between the ever or current use of HT in postmenopausal women and GERD. However, the results should be interpreted with caution, given the small number of included studies and high heterogeneity. This warrants careful evaluation of GERD risk factors when prescribing HT to reduce the risk of potential GERD complications,” concluded the authors.
They also noted that more research is warranted to ascertain whether HT is associated with an augmented risk of GERD in postmenopausal women.
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