Bronchial asthma and hormone therapy

Hormone replacement therapy may slow the decline in lung function in middle-aged women, according to new research presented today at the International Congress of the European Respiratory Society.
Data from a 20-year study of 3,713 women from the early 1990s to 2010 showed that those who used long-term hormone replacement therapy (for two years or more) performed better on test results. lung function than women who have never resorted to this type of treatment. The peak of lung activity occurs, on average, at twenty to twenty-five years, and from that moment activity decreases, however, it is possible to determine what factors affect the process, either by slowing down, or speed it up. One of the acceleration factors, for example, is menopause. So the key question is whether hormone therapy can, at least partially, counteract this. Lung function was measured at baseline and twenty years later. The work showed that women who took hormone replacement therapy for two or more years lost an average of forty-six milliliters less lung volume compared to women who never took such drugs. Most likely, the result will not be clinically significant for healthy women. However, in women with respiratory conditions—asthma, COPD, and others—decreased lung function can affect quality of life, as it can lead to increased shortness of breath, decreased performance, and fatigue. To illustrate, similar losses in lung capacity would occur if a woman smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for three years. The results show that female sex hormones are important for maintaining lung function in middle-aged women. Women from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and the UK participated in this work. A total of 236 participants were on long-term hormone replacement therapy. These women were matched with the same number of participants who had never taken these drugs for age, weight, height, age at menopause, smoking, and baseline lung function. In 2010, when follow-up tests were performed, the women were 44-67 years old, with a median age of fifty-nine. The researchers adjusted for factors that could affect the results, such as spirometer type, length of follow-up, and clinical center. In this analysis, physical activity and menopause were not significantly associated with decreased lung function. However, physical activity is reported to have a number of positive effects, so the authors believe it is advisable to do a balanced amount of exercise. The researchers emphasize that their findings should not be seen as advocating the use of hormone therapy, nor are they opposed to it. While these treatments may help with menopausal symptoms and protect against osteoporosis, they are also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and heart and blood vessel problems.

event_note January 30, 2022

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