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Thorax. 2006 Jan;61(1):34-40. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

Hormone replacement therapy, body mass index and asthma in perimenopausal women: a cross sectional survey.

Author information

1
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway. francisco.real@med.uib.no

Erratum in

  • Thorax. 2006 Mar;61(3):274. Franklin, K [corrected to Franklin, KA].

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and obesity both appear to increase the risk of asthma. A study was undertaken to investigate the association of HRT with asthma and hay fever in a population of perimenopausal women, focusing on a possible interaction with body mass index (BMI).

METHODS:

A postal questionnaire was sent to population based samples in Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden in 1999-2001, and 8588 women aged 25-54 years responded (77%). Pregnant women, women using oral contraceptives, and women <46 years were excluded. Analyses included 2206 women aged 46-54 years of which 884 were menopausal and 540 used HRT. Stratified analyses by BMI in tertiles were performed.

RESULTS:

HRT was associated with an increased risk for asthma (OR 1.57 (95% CI 1.07 to 2.30)), wheeze (OR 1.60 (95% CI 1.22 to 2.10)), and hay fever (OR 1.48 (95% CI 1.15 to 1.90)). The associations with asthma and wheeze were significantly stronger among women with BMI in the lower tertile (asthma OR 2.41 (95% CI 1.21 to 4.77); wheeze OR 2.04 (95% CI 1.23 to 3.36)) than in heavier women (asthma: p(interaction) = 0.030; wheeze: p(interaction) = 0.042). Increasing BMI was associated with more asthma (OR 1.08 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.12) per kg/m2). This effect was only found in women not taking HRT (OR 1.10 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.14) per kg/m2); no such association was detected in HRT users (OR 1.00 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.08) per kg/m2) (p(interaction) = 0.046). Menopause was not significantly associated with asthma, wheeze, or hay fever.

CONCLUSIONS:

In perimenopausal women there is an interaction between HRT and BMI in the effects on asthma. Lean women who were HRT users had as high a risk for asthma as overweight women not taking HRT. It is suggested that HRT and overweight increase the risk of asthma through partly common pathways.

PMID:
16244093
PMCID:
PMC2080706
DOI:
10.1136/thx.2005.040881
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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