February 04, 2014
1 min read

Postmenopausal hormone medications may decrease POAG risk in women

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Taking postmenopausal hormone medications containing estrogen may reduce women’s risk of developing primary open-angle glaucoma, according to a study.

The study retrospectively analyzed 152,163 outpatient pharmacy claims of women age 50 years or older enrolled in a U.S. managed-care plan who had had at least two visits to an eye care provider in 4 years between 2001 and 2009 and received postmenopausal hormone medications. The medications contained estrogen only, estrogen and progesterone, or estrogen and androgen. Hazard ratios for developing incident POAG were determined for all eligible enrollees.

Of the included enrollees, 2,925 (1.9%) developed POAG; 1.7% of women who took estrogen only, 1.9% who took estrogen and progesterone, and 1.4% who took estrogen and androgen developed POAG, while 2.1% of those who took no postmenopausal hormone medications developed POAG.

After adjusting for age, a slightly lower hazard ratio for POAG was determined in women using estrogen only or estrogen and progesterone. Compared with those who did not take postmenopausal hormone medications, each additional month of use reduced the risk by 0.6% for estrogen only and 1.2% for estrogen and progesterone (P < .001 for both). Estrogen and androgen had no measurable effect on the development of POAG.

According to the study authors, further investigation is required to better clarify the relationship between postmenopausal hormone medications and glaucoma and to determine whether only estrogen affects POAG risk or whether any postmenopausal hormone medication can be used.

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of author affiliations.