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Post Menopausal Women Beware: Hormone Replacement + Alcohol = Cataracts!?

March 4, 2010

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There is an interesting article in this month’s Ophthalmology titled Hormone Replacement Therapy in Relation to Risk of Cataract Extraction: A Prospective Study of Women.

This study included 30,861 women aged 49 to 83
years who completed a questionnaire about hormone status, use of
hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and lifestyle. Of these, 4,324
women underwent cataract surgery during the 98-month follow-up interval.

Results showed:

  • Women who had ever used HRT had a 14% higher risk of cataract than women who had never used
  • Current HRT users had an 18% higher risk of cataract than women
    who never used HRT.
  • In women who consumed alcohol, current HRT users had a 29% higher risk of cataract
    extraction than those who did not use therapy.
  • Current HRT users who
    consumed more than one alcoholic beverage daily had a 42% higher risk
    of cataract.

The study concluded that postmenopausal women using HRT for a long period of time may be at an
increased risk for cataract extraction, especially those drinking >1
alcoholic drink daily.

It certainly makes sense for women who are or have beenon HRT to limit their alcohol intake if they wish to reduce their risk of cataract development.

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