Taking hormones after menopause could put a woman at increased risk of developing asthma, report researchers ,however hormone replacement doesn't appear to affect chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk.
The incidence of both asthma and COPD are rising in the developed world. About 5 percent to 8 percent of Americans have asthma, and deaths due to COPD have risen more than 40 percent since 1982. Since the prevalence of asthma tends to change over time, with boys more likely to have the disease before puberty and girls more likely to have it after puberty, researchers speculated hormone replacement after menopause might put women at higher risk. COPD, which is mainly caused by smoking, has traditionally hit men harder than women, but the increasing tendency of women to smoke has recently led to more and more women being diagnosed with the disease. Now, women are dying from COPD in greater numbers than men, suggesting gender might also play a role in this disease.
AdvertisementFrom the study it was seen that women who used estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin had more than twice the risk of developing asthma for the first time as women who never took hormone replacement therapy. No such risk was noted for COPD, however.