Estrogen Therapy May Be Linked to Kidney
MONDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen therapy may
increase the risk of kidney stones in postmenopausal women, a new
For the study, researchers examined data on postmenopausal women
in the United States, gathered from two trials in the Women's
Health Initiative study.
One trial included 10,739 women who had had a hysterectomy, and
who received either an estrogen-only treatment or placebo, and were
followed for an average of 7.1 years. The other included 16,608
women without hysterectomy who received either estrogen plus
progestin therapy or placebo, and who were followed for an average
of 5.6 years.
There were 335 cases of kidney stones reported among women in
the treatment groups and 284 cases among those in the placebo
groups, the investigators found. The annual kidney stone incidence
rate per 10,000 women per year was 39 in the treatment groups and
34 in the placebo groups, according to the report in the Oct. 11
issue of the
Archives of Internal Medicine.
Kidney stone development was five times more common in women who
had a history of kidney stones at the start of the trials, but
development was not significantly altered by estrogen therapy, Dr.
Naim M. Maalouf, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical
Center at Dallas, and colleagues reported.
The researchers found no significant link between kidney stone
development and age, ethnicity, body- mass index (BMI), previous
hormone treatment, coffee consumption or the use of thiazide
The findings "indicate that estrogen therapy increases the risk
of [kidney stones] in healthy postmenopausal women. The mechanisms
underlying this higher propensity remain to be determined. In view
of the sizable prevalence of [kidney stones] in this segment of the
population" -- between 5 percent and 7 percent in the United
States, according to background information in the study -- "these
findings need to be considered in the decision-making process
regarding postmenopausal estrogen use," the researchers
The National Kidney Foundation has more about
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