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June 27, 2001

Relationship Between Postmenopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy and Ovarian Cancer

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

JAMA. 2001;285(24):3089-3090. doi:10.1001/jama.285.24.3089

To the Editor: Dr Rodriguez and colleagues1 suggest that if others confirm their findings, a possible increase in risk of dying from ovarian cancer should be added to the list of possible estrogen-related adverse effects to be discussed with patients considering HRT. They based this recommendation on finding that 31 women died from ovarian cancer among women who in 1982 self-reported using HRT for 10 years or more. This is a relatively small number of events, which weakens the reliability of the conclusions. In addition, other reports on the effect of HRT use on ovarian cancer risk are inconsistent. Of the 5 case-control studies cited by Rodriguez et al that measured ovarian cancer risk among women who used HRT for 5 or more years, 4 found no statistically significant difference.24 One study found a statistically significant increased risk of endometrioid ovarian adenocarcinoma among women who used unopposed estrogen (OR, 2.81; 95% CI, 1.15-6.89).5 For the more common serous carcinomas, the OR of 2.03 was barely statistically significant (95% CI, 1.04-3.97). A recent meta-analysis reported no association between HRT use and ovarian cancer.6

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