HRT May Reduce Progression of Age-Related Maculopathy

Laurie Barclay, MD

December 13, 2002

Dec. 13, 2002 — Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may reduce progression of age-related maculopathy (ARM), according to the results of a cross-sectional study reported in the December issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

'Decisions regarding postmenopausal hormone therapies are becoming increasingly complex, and it is important to evaluate their effects, including testing their relationship to eye diseases of aging,' lead author Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts, says in a news release.

Of 394 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 78 years with ARM, 193 had nonadvanced ARM and 201 had advanced ARM. Logistic regression analysis revealed that women with ARM who had used postmenopausal HRT in the past had half the risk of advanced ARM than did those who had never used HRT, after controlling for other known and potential risk factors (odds ratio [OR], 0.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30 - 0.98). Risk of advanced ARM was also higher in subjects with older age at menarche (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.00 - 1.35).

'Few therapeutic or preventive measures exist for ARM, therefore, these results deserve further evaluation,' Dr. Seddon says. 'We have added a sight exam to the Women's Health Initiative, a national randomized trial evaluating postmenopausal therapy, to test this hypothesis.'

Am J Ophthalmol. 2002;134:842-848

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

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