Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Higher Cataract Surgery Rates

HRT ImageThe March issue of Ophthalmology cites an eight year Swedish study of 30,000 women comparing the cataract surgery rate for women that have used hormone replacement therapy and those that have not.  Birgitta E. Lindblad, MD, the lead author of the study, stated that “if future studies confirm the associations we found, increased risk for cataract removal should be added to the list of potential negative HRT outcomes.”

The rate of cataract surgery in the study was up to 18% higher in women that were using HRT, that rate corresponded with how long the patient had been using HRT.  It was also noted that alcohol greatly increased the cataract removal rate with the study showing a 42% higher rate in women using HRT and having more than one alcoholic drink per day over those that were not using HRT.

The study also noted that when the body produces estrogen it  prevents cataract formation, however supplemental estrogen medication does not react entirely the same way in the body and increases cataract formation.

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