Oral estrogen hormone therapy linked to increased risk of gallbladder surgery in menopausal women

March 18, 2013

Oral estrogen therapy for menopausal women is associated with an increased risk of gallbladder surgery, according to a large-scale study of more than 70 000 women in France published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Women who took estrogen therapy through skin patches or gels did not appear to be at increased risk.

Gallstone disease is common in developed countries, and women over age 50 are most at risk. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, poor diet and having given birth to two or more children.

A large study of 70 928 menopausal women in France between 1992 and 2008 looked at whether hormone therapy increased the risk of gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) for complications of gallstones. In France, hormonal therapy is usually administered topically rather than orally. North America and the United Kingdom prefer oral hormone therapies.

"In this large French prospective cohort study, we found that the risk of cholecystectomy was increased among women exposed to oral estrogen regiments for menopausal hormone therapy, especially oral regimens without progestagen," writes Dr. Antoine Racine, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) and Université Paris Sud, with coauthors. "Other types of menopausal hormone therapy were not associated with an increased risk of cholecystectomy."

"Complicated gallstone disease should be added to the list of potential adverse events to be considered when balancing the benefits and risks associated with menopausal hormone therapy," the authors conclude.

In a related commentary, Dr. Bette Liu, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, writes that the findings of this study support current recommendations for minimizing doses and duration of hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms. However, if hormone therapy is considered necessary, transdermal formulations (such as patches or gels) may have fewer adverse effects than oral formulations.

"Unfortunately there are no large clinical trials comparing transdermal and oral therapies, and such trials will probably never be conducted," she writes. "Evidence to guide recommendations on the best route of hormone administration for individual women and prescribers will thus be limited to the growing volume of observational data. These data suggest that the overall risk-benefit profile of transdermal menopausal hormone therapy makes it a more attractive option than oral therapies."
-end-


Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Hormone Therapy Articles from Brightsurf:

How hormone therapy slows progression of atherosclerosis
As one of the most common treatments for effectively managing menopause symptoms, hormone therapy (HT) is also known to provide multiple health benefits, including slowing the progression of atherosclerosis.

Prolonged use of hormone therapy may minimize muscle loss associated with aging
Skeletal muscle mass and strength are critical in helping prevent falls, fractures, and disability.

Reducing the side-effects of prostate hormone therapy with exercise
A prescription of short-term exercise for patients with advanced prostate cancer could help to reduce the side-effects of hormone therapy, according to new research.

Hormone therapy associated with improved cognition
Estrogen has a significant role in overall brain health and cognitive function.

Why do estradiol levels vary among women using hormone therapy?
CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 24, 2019)--The benefits of hormone therapy (HT) on atherosclerosis relates to achieved estradiol levels among those women who initiate HT early in postmenopause.

Hormone therapy linked to decrease level of diabetes biomarkers
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) remains one of the most highly quoted when debating the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.

Ribociclib plus hormone therapy extends survival for patients with premenopausal advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer
Adding the targeted therapy ribociclib to hormone therapy significantly improved overall survival (OS) in premenopausal patients with advanced hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer, according to results of the MONALEESA-7 Phase III clinical trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Hormone therapy may be best defense against knee osteoarthritis
There is an ongoing debate regarding the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and hormone therapy (HT), with small-scale studies providing mixed results.

Hormone therapy for 'low T' may not be safe for all men
Boosting testosterone levels with hormone supplements may not be safe or appropriate for all men with low testosterone (low T), according to new research.

Artery hardening and thickness not affected by stopping hormone therapy
Heart disease is still the number one killer of US women, and hormone therapy remains a top treatment for menopause symptoms.

Read More: Hormone Therapy News and Hormone Therapy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.