Dominic J. Cirillo, B.S., of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and colleagues examined data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), which were two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials conducted at 40 U.S. clinical centers. The patient sample was 22,579 women aged 50 79 years without prior cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). Women with hysterectomy were randomized to conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) or placebo (n=8,376). Women without hysterectomy were randomized to estrogen plus progestin (E+P, n=14,203).
Cholelithiasis (gallstones in the gallbladder) is estimated to affect between 10 percent and 15 percent of the U.S. population, with one million new diagnoses yearly. Researchers conducted this study to determine the effect of estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women on gallbladder disease outcomes.
The researchers found that both trials showed greater risk of any gallbladder disease or surgery with estrogen: 67 percent increased risk with use of CEE; 59 percent increased risk with use of E + P. Both trials indicated a higher risk for cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder): 80 percent increased risk with CEE; 54 percent increased risk with E + P; and for cholelithiasis, a 86 percent greater risk with CEE; a 68 percent increased risk for estrogen users.
Among women with hysterectomy, CEE contributed to 31 excess events per 10,000 women annually. E + P contributed to an excess of 20 events per 10,000 women annually.
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JAMA and Archives Journals
. Changing chemistry helps explain estrogen threat to the heart2
. Decreased sensitivity in the brain to estrogen may help explain menopausal changes3
. Celecoxib shows surprising activity against estrogen receptors4
. Scientists identify key mechanism in estrogens role in preventing bone loss5
. New insights into hormone therapy highlight when estrogen best aids brain6
. High fiber intake reduces estrogen levels in Latina women, say Keck School of Medicine researchers7
. Research in monkeys suggests estrogen therapy may lower androgens in postmenopausal women8
. Low-dose transdermal estrogen viable short-term treatment for menopausal women9
. WHI study finds no heart disease benefit, increased stroke risk with estrogen alone10
. NIH asks participants in womens health initiative estrogen-alone study to stop study pills11
. Synthetic progestin damages, estrogen protects blood vessels in animal model