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HRT increases lung cancer death risk

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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) using oestrogen and progestin increases the risk of death from lung cancer, latest study results suggest.

As part of the Women’s Health Initiative study, US researchers studied 16, 608 post menopausal women aged 50 to 79. Half received a combined HRT preparation, and the rest received a placebo.

After around five years of treatment, and two years follow up, the researchers found that 109 women in the combined HRT group and 85 patients in the placebo group were diagnosed with lung cancer.

Although women taking combined HRT did not have a significantly increased risk of lung cancer, they did have a significantly increased risk of dying from the disease, with 73 deaths among those receiving HRT compared to 40 deaths in those taking a placebo, the researchers said.

The study also found that there was twice the number of deaths from non-small-cell lung cancer in the HRT group compared to the placebo group – 62 deaths compared to 31.

These study findings should be “incorporated into risk-benefit discussions with women considering combined hormone therapy, especially those with a high risk of lung cancer,” the researchers said online in The Lancet.

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