Researchers at Copenhagen University have revealed that hormone replacement therapy taken by post-menopausal women increases the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 38%.
The study assessed the link between HRT and cancer in 900,000 Danish women aged 50 to 79. They found that for every 8,300 women who opted for HRT after menopause, there was one extra case of ovarian cancer.
During the follow-up period of eight years, HRT caused 140 extra cases of ovarian cancer in Denmark. "Even though this share seems low, ovarian cancer remains highly fatal, so accordingly this risk warrants consideration when deciding whether to use hormone therapy," wrote lead researcher Lina Steinrud Morch and colleagues.
Furthermore the risk of ovarian cancer remained the same regardless of the time for which HRT was used. The findings are very similar to a large study called Women's Health Initiative, which linked HRT to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, strokes and other health problems.
The Danish study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.