In a press release from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the benefits and risks of hormone therapy (HT) have been debated among healthcare providers for the past 2 decades, and findings regarding the augmented risk of developing lung cancer have been inconsistent.
According to findings from a 16-year nationwide, population-based matched cohort study published in the journal Menopause, the use of HT for menopause does not increase a woman’s risk of developing lung cancer and may actually aid in lowering the risk of developing lung cancer.
The study’s primary objective was to investigate whether postmenopausal women who undergo HT demonstrate a risk of developing lung cancer.
The matched cohort study used data between 2000 and 2015 from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. It involved 38,104 postmenopausal women who were aged older than 45 years and were treated using HT.
The researchers also used data from 152,416 matched participants who were not treated using HT and were enrolled as controls at a 1:4 ratio. During 16 years of follow-up, researchers employed a Cox proportional hazards regression model to identify the risk of developing lung cancer during the study time frame.
The results indicated that there was no significant variance in the percentage of postmenopausal women treated using HT (P = .129) who developed lung cancer and that of those not treated using HT (0.866% [330 of 38,104] vs. 0.950% [1,449 of 152,416]).
After modification for age and other variables, the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.886 (95% CI; 0.666-1.305, P = .433), implying there was no correlation between the use of HT and the risk of developing lung cancer in postmenopausal women.
Among those in a subgroup investigation, the risk of lung cancer was meaningfully lower in the women who were treated using HT when the HT cumulative dosage was ≥401 mg or when the therapy duration was ≥5 years compared with women not treated using HT; the adjusted hazard ratios were 0.633 (95% CI; 0.475-0.930, P <.001) and 0.532 (95% CI; 0.330-0.934, P <.001), respectively, after adjustment.
The authors indicated that their findings demonstrated that the use of HT in postmenopausal women is not correlated with an augmented risk of developing lung cancer. Moreover, higher cumulative dosages and the long-term effects of HT decrease the risk of lung cancer.
In the press release on the NAMS website, Stephanie Faubion, MD, professor of medicine, chair of the department of internal medicine, and the Penny and Bill George director of the Center for Women’s Health at the Mayo Clinic, as well as medical director of the North American Menopause Society, stated, “This population-based study showed that hormone therapy use was not associated with lung cancer risk and, further, that it may be linked with a lower risk of lung cancer. This is reassuring for women weighing the cumulative risks and benefits of hormone therapy for the management of menopause symptoms or osteoporosis prevention.”
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Published April 4, 2023