Study links HRT to lung cancer

Women taking HRT could be at a higher risk of developing lung cancer, US research suggests.

Fears about HRT use began in 2002 when the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial was halted early after it found HRT could increase breast cancer risk by 26 per cent.

For this latest study, researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute focused on the number of cases of lung cancer diagnosed in the WHI trial over the entire eight-year follow-up period.

Overall, they found that more women died from lung cancer in the combined HRT group than in the placebo group.

Women who were taking HRT were found to be 87 per cent more likely to die from non-small-cell lung cancer than women receiving placebo.

Also, women in the HRT group were 28 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than those taking placebo.

The researchers said: 'These findings should be incorporated into risk-benefit discussions with women considering combined hormone therapy, especially those with a high risk of lung cancer.'

Sanjay Tanday recommends

The Lancet Online 2009

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