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1.  Influence of reproductive history and exogenous hormone use on prevalence and frequency of circulating t(14;18)-positive cells in a population-based cross-sectional study 
Cancer Causes & Control  2015;26(3):455-465.
Purpose
The t(14;18) translocation might represent an intermediate step in the pathogenesis of follicular lymphoma (FL), one of the most common subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Circulating t(14;18)-positive cells can also be detected in 30–60 % of healthy individuals at low frequencies. Some studies found a negative association between reproductive factors or use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) with FL. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether there is an association between number of frequencies, oral contraceptive (OC) use, menopausal status and MHT, and t(14;18) prevalence and frequency in a representative population analysis based on an epidemiologic study in the northeastern part of Germany.
Methods
The analysis is based on results of buffy coat samples from 1,981 women of the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-0) and data obtained in standardized face-to-face interviews. For prevalence, odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Frequency data were analyzed using negative binomial regression. The multivariable models included age, number of pregnancies, menopausal status (premenopausal, natural, medical/surgical menopause), OC use and MHT as a measure for exogenous hormone exposure use.
Results
We found no association between reproductive history and combined exogenous hormone use on the prevalence of circulating t(14;18)-positive cells. Modeling MHT and OC use separately in a sensitivity analysis, the MHT parameter yielded statistical significance [OR 1.37 (95 % CI 1.04;1.81)]. t(14;18) frequency was associated with use of OC [incidence rate ratio (IRR) for ever use 3.18 (95 % CI 1.54;6.54)], current use [IRR 3.86 (1.56;9.54)], >10 years use [IRR 3.93 (1.67;9.23)] and MHT [restricted to postmenopausal women; IRR 2.63 (95 % CI 1.01;6.85)] in bivariate age-adjusted analyses. In the multivariable model, medical/surgical menopause [IRR 2.46 (1.11;5.44)] and the category ever use of OC and MHT were statistically significant [IRR 2.41 (1.09;5.33)].
Conclusions
Exogenous hormone use might be a risk factor for t(14;18) frequency rather than for t(14;18) prevalence. Further research on healthy individuals carrying a t(14;18) translocation and possible risk factors for malignant lymphoma is necessary to determine the additional molecular or immunological events that have to occur to develop FL.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10552-015-0525-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10552-015-0525-4
PMCID: PMC4331597  PMID: 25634026
t(14;18) translocation; Healthy individuals; Reproductive history; Exogenous hormone use
2.  Reproductive factors, exogenous hormone use, and risk of lymphoid neoplasms among women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort 
Reasons for higher incidence of lymphoid neoplasms among men than women are unknown. Because female sex hormones have immunomodulatory effects, reproductive factors and exogenous hormone use may affect risk for lymphoid malignancies. Previous epidemiologic studies on this topic have yielded conflicting results. Within the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort, we prospectively analyzed detailed, questionnaire-derived information on menstrual and reproductive factors and use of oral contraceptives and menopausal hormone therapy among 134,074 US women. Using multivariable proportional hazards regression models, we estimated relative risks (RRs) for 85 plasma cell neoplasms and 417 non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) identified during follow-up from 1996-2002. We observed no statistically significant associations between plasma cell neoplasms, NHL, or the three most common NHL subtypes and age at menarche, parity, age at first birth, oral contraceptive use, or menopausal status at baseline. For menopausal hormone therapy use, overall associations between NHL and unopposed estrogen and estrogen plus progestin were null, with the potential exception of an inverse association (RR=0.49, 95% CI, 0.25-0.96) between use of unopposed estrogen and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common NHL subtype, among women with a hysterectomy. These data do not support an important role for reproductive factors or exogenous hormones in modulating lymphomagenesis.
doi:10.1002/ijc.24248
PMCID: PMC2701156  PMID: 19253366
3.  Menopausal hormone therapy and new-onset diabetes in the French Etude Epidemiologique de Femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l'Education Nationale (E3N) cohort 
Diabetologia  2009;52(10):2092-2100.
Aims/hypothesis
Two US randomized trials found a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes among women treated by menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) with oral conjugated equine estrogen combined with medroxyprogesterone acetate. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of various MHTs, according to their formulation and route of administration, on new-onset diabetes in a cohort of postmenopausal French women.
Methods
The association between MHT use and new-onset diabetes was investigated by Cox regression analysis in 63,624 postmenopausal women of the French E3N cohort. Cases of diabetes were identified through self-report or drug reimbursement record linkage, and further validated.
Results
1220 new-onset diabetes cases were validated. We observed a lower risk of new-onset diabetes among women having ever used MHT (Hazard ratio: HR=0.82 [0.72 – 0.93]), compared to MHT never users. Adjustment for BMI during follow-up rather than baseline BMI did not substantially modify this association. An oral route of estrogen administration was associated with a greater decrease in diabetes risk than a cutaneous route (HR=0.68 [0.55–0.85] vs 0.87 [0.75–1.00], P for homogeneity=0.028). When further taking into account the type of progestagen used in combined MHT, we were not able to show significant differences between progestagens.
Conclusion
MHT appeared to be associated with a lower risk of new-onset diabetes. This relation was not mediated by changes in BMI. Further studies are needed to confirm the stronger effect of oral administration of estrogen compared to cutaneous administration.
doi:10.1007/s00125-009-1456-y
PMCID: PMC3240590  PMID: 19629429
Adult; Aged; Diabetes Mellitus; epidemiology; Estrogens, Conjugated (USP); therapeutic use; Female; Hormone Replacement Therapy; Humans; Medroxyprogesterone Acetate; therapeutic use; Middle Aged; Postmenopause; Proportional Hazards Models; Questionnaires; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; adult diabetes; postmenopause; menopausal hormone therapy; cohort study
4.  The association of menstrual and reproductive factors with upper gastrointestinal tract cancers in the NIH-AARP cohort 
Cancer  2010;116(6):1572-1581.
Background
In most populations, incidence rates of upper gastrointestinal tract cancers (UGI: head and neck, esophagus, and stomach) are higher among men than among women. Established risk factors do not appear to explain these differences, suggesting a possible role for sex hormones.
Methods
201,506 women of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health cohort completed a questionnaire in 1995-1996. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated from Cox proportional hazards models.
Results
During follow-up through 2003, 162 incident adenocarcinomas (ACs; esophagus (N=25) and stomach (N=137)) and 353 incident squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs; head and neck (n=297), and esophagus (N=56)) occurred. Among examined exposures, older age at menopause was associated inversely with SCC (p-trend across categories=0.013) but not AC (p-trend=0.501). Use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) was significantly associated with lower risk of SCC (HR=0.77, 0.62-0.96) and non-significantly associated with lower risk of AC (HR=0.81, 0.59-1.12). A subset (N=127,386) of the cohort completed a more detailed MHT questionnaire a year after baseline. In 74,372 women with intact uteri, ever use of estrogen-plus-progestin MHT conferred 0.47 (0.30-0.75) times the risk for SCC and 0.52 (0.26-1.07) times the risk for ACC. In 51,515 women with a hysterectomy before baseline, we found no associations between use of estrogen MHT and AC or SCC.
Conclusions
Higher estrogen and progesterone levels may be related inversely to UGI cancers and in this way help explain lower incidence rates in women compared to men.
doi:10.1002/cncr.24880
PMCID: PMC2836418  PMID: 20186831
Head and Neck Neoplasms; stomach neoplasms; esophageal neoplasms; Estrogen Replacement Therapy
5.  Unopposed Estrogen and Estrogen Plus Progestin Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Lung Cancer Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study Cohort 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2012;23(3):487-496.
Purpose
Previous studies have reported that lung cancer risk may either be decreased, increased or unaffected by prior use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).
Methods
To examine this issue further, we examined relationships among 118,008 women, ages 50–71 years who were recruited during 1995–1996 for the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study and in whom 2,097 incident lung carcinomas were identified during follow-up through 2006. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models estimated relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with various measures of self-reported MHT use.
Results
We found no evidence that either estrogen therapy (ET)-only or estrogen plus progestin therapy (EPT) use was substantially related to subsequent lung cancer risk (respective RRs and 95% CIs for ever use = 0.97, 0.86–1.09 and 1.03, 0.90–1.17). There were no significant variations according to currency or duration of use of either formulation, nor was there evidence that risks varied within subgroups defined by cigarette smoking or body size. The absence of effect was seen for nearly all lung cancer subtypes, with the exception of an increased risk of undifferentiated/large cell cancers associated with long-term ET-only use (Ptrend=0.02), a relationship not observed among EPT users.
Conclusions
Our results failed to support any substantial alterations in lung cancer risk associated with use of either unopposed estrogen or estrogen plus progestin MHT, even when detailed exposure measures and other risk predictors were considered.
doi:10.1007/s10552-012-9904-2
PMCID: PMC3328187  PMID: 22367699
lung cancer; menopausal hormone therapy; risk; histology
6.  Hip Fracture Incidence in Relation to Age, Menopausal Status, and Age at Menopause: Prospective Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(11):e1000181.
Using data from the UK Million Women Study, Emily Banks and colleagues investigate the relationships between the incidence of hip fracture and a woman's age, menopausal status, and age at menopause.
Background
Bone mineral density is known to decrease rapidly after the menopause. There is limited evidence about the separate contributions of a woman's age, menopausal status and age at menopause to the incidence of hip fracture.
Methods and Findings
Over one million middle-aged women joined the UK Million Women Study in 1996–2001 providing information on their menopausal status, age at menopause, and other factors, which was updated, where possible, 3 y later. All women were registered with the UK National Health Service (NHS) and were routinely linked to information on cause-specific admissions to NHS hospitals. 561,609 women who had never used hormone replacement therapy and who provided complete information on menopausal variables (at baseline 25% were pre/perimenopausal and 75% postmenopausal) were followed up for a total of 3.4 million woman-years (an average 6.2 y per woman). During follow-up 1,676 (0.3%) were admitted to hospital with a first incident hip fracture. Among women aged 50–54 y the relative risk (RR) of hip fracture risk was significantly higher in postmenopausal than premenopausal women (adjusted RR 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22–4.04; p = 0.009); there were too few premenopausal women aged 55 y and over for valid comparisons. Among postmenopausal women, hip fracture incidence increased steeply with age (p<0.001), with rates being about seven times higher at age 70–74 y than at 50–54 y (incidence rates of 0.82 versus 0.11 per 100 women over 5 y). Among postmenopausal women of a given age there was no significant difference in hip fracture incidence between women whose menopause was due to bilateral oophorectomy compared to a natural menopause (adjusted RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.94–1.55; p = 0.15), and age at menopause had little, if any, effect on hip fracture incidence.
Conclusions
At around the time of the menopause, hip fracture incidence is about twice as high in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women, but this effect is short lived. Among postmenopausal women, age is by far the main determinant of hip fracture incidence and, for women of a given age, their age at menopause has, at most, a weak additional effect.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Anyone can break a hip but most hip fractures occur in elderly people. As people age, their bones gradually lose minerals and become less dense, which weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. Because women lose bone density faster than men as they age and because women constitute the majority of the elderly, three-quarters of hip fractures occur in women. Hip fractures can cause long-term health problems and premature death. Thus, although surgical repair of a broken hip usually only requires a hospital stay of about a week, a quarter of elderly people who were living independently before their fracture have to stay in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury and a fifth of elderly people who break a hip die within the year. Most hip fractures are caused by falls. Regular exercise to improve strength and balance combined with review of medicines (to reduce side effects and interactions), regular eye examinations, and the removal of fall hazards from the home can help to prevent hip fractures in elderly people.
Why Was This Study Done?
Bone density decreases very rapidly in women immediately after menopause—the time when menstruation permanently stops—and then continues to decrease more slowly with age. Most women have their menopause in their early 50s but menopause can occur in younger women. Early menopause is thought to be a risk factor for osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and fractures later in life but little is known about how menopause influences hip fracture risk as women age. In this prospective study (a type of study in which a group of people is followed for several years to see whether they develop a particular condition), the researchers investigate the incidence of hip fractures in relation to age, menopausal status, and age at menopause among the participants of the Million Women Study. This study, which recruited 1.3 million women aged 50–64 years who attended UK breast cancer screening clinics between 1996 and 2001, has been investigating how reproductive and lifestyle factors affect women's health.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
At enrollment and three years later, the study participants provided information about their menopausal status and other health and lifestyle factors likely to affect their fracture risk. From these data, the researchers identified more than half a million women who had never used hormone replacement therapy (which reduces fracture risk) and who had given complete information about their menopausal status. They then looked for statistical associations between the occurrence of a first hip fracture in these women over the next few years and their age, menopausal status, and age at menopause. Among women aged 50–54 years, postmenopausal women were twice as likely to have a hip fracture as premenopausal women. Among postmenopausal women, the incidence of hip fractures increased steeply with age and was seven times higher in 70–74-year olds than in 50–54-year olds. Women who had their menopause before age 45 had a slightly increased risk of hip fracture but any effect of age at menopause on the risk of hip fracture was small compared to the effect of age itself, and the slightly increased risk may have been due to other factors that could not be fully accounted for in the analysis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that around the time of menopause, although hip fractures are rare, the risk of a fracture in postmenopausal women is twice that in premenopausal women. The findings also show that among postmenopausal women, age is the major determinant of hip fracture risk and that for women of a given age, their age at menopause has little effect on hip fracture risk. Women attending breast cancer screening clinics and completing questionnaires about their health may not be representative of the general population. Furthermore, these findings rely on women self-reporting their menopausal status accurately. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest that clinicians advising women about hip fracture prevention should probably base their advice on the woman's age and on age-related factors such as frailty rather than on factors related to menopause. Clinicians can also now reassure elderly women who had an early menopause that their risk of hip fracture is unlikely to be higher than that of similar women who had a later menopause.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000181.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has detailed information about hip fractures
The US National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoloskeletal and Skin Diseases has an interactive feature called “Check up on your bones and provides detailed information about osteoporosis, including advice on fall prevention
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a fact sheet about hip fractures among older adults
MedlinePlus has links to resources about hip fracture, osteoporosis, and menopause (in English and Spanish)
More information on the Million Women Study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000181
PMCID: PMC2766835  PMID: 19901981
7.  Risk Prediction for Breast, Endometrial, and Ovarian Cancer in White Women Aged 50 y or Older: Derivation and Validation from Population-Based Cohort Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001492.
Ruth Pfeiffer and colleagues describe models to calculate absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers for white, non-Hispanic women over 50 years old using easily obtainable risk factors.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers share some hormonal and epidemiologic risk factors. While several models predict absolute risk of breast cancer, there are few models for ovarian cancer in the general population, and none for endometrial cancer.
Methods and Findings
Using data on white, non-Hispanic women aged 50+ y from two large population-based cohorts (the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial [PLCO] and the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study [NIH-AARP]), we estimated relative and attributable risks and combined them with age-specific US-population incidence and competing mortality rates. All models included parity. The breast cancer model additionally included estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use, other MHT use, age at first live birth, menopausal status, age at menopause, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, benign breast disease/biopsies, alcohol consumption, and body mass index (BMI); the endometrial model included menopausal status, age at menopause, BMI, smoking, oral contraceptive use, MHT use, and an interaction term between BMI and MHT use; the ovarian model included oral contraceptive use, MHT use, and family history or breast or ovarian cancer. In independent validation data (Nurses' Health Study cohort) the breast and ovarian cancer models were well calibrated; expected to observed cancer ratios were 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.96–1.04) for breast cancer and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.97–1.19) for ovarian cancer. The number of endometrial cancers was significantly overestimated, expected/observed = 1.20 (95% CI: 1.11–1.29). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs; discriminatory power) were 0.58 (95% CI: 0.57–0.59), 0.59 (95% CI: 0.56–0.63), and 0.68 (95% CI: 0.66–0.70) for the breast, ovarian, and endometrial models, respectively.
Conclusions
These models predict absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers from easily obtainable risk factors and may assist in clinical decision-making. Limitations are the modest discriminatory ability of the breast and ovarian models and that these models may not generalize to women of other races.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2008, just three types of cancer accounted for 10% of global cancer-related deaths. That year, about 460,000 women died from breast cancer (the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women and the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death). Another 140,000 women died from ovarian cancer, and 74,000 died from endometrial (womb) cancer (the 14th and 20th most common causes of cancer-related death, respectively). Although these three cancers originate in different tissues, they nevertheless share many risk factors. For example, current age, age at menarche (first period), and parity (the number of children a woman has had) are all strongly associated with breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer risk. Because these cancers share many hormonal and epidemiological risk factors, a woman with a high breast cancer risk is also likely to have an above-average risk of developing ovarian or endometrial cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several statistical models (for example, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool) have been developed that estimate a woman's absolute risk (probability) of developing breast cancer over the next few years or over her lifetime. Absolute risk prediction models are useful in the design of cancer prevention trials and can also help women make informed decisions about cancer prevention and treatment options. For example, a woman at high risk of breast cancer might decide to take tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention, but ideally she needs to know her absolute endometrial cancer risk before doing so because tamoxifen increases the risk of this cancer. Similarly, knowledge of her ovarian cancer risk might influence a woman's decision regarding prophylactic removal of her ovaries to reduce her breast cancer risk. There are few absolute risk prediction models for ovarian cancer, and none for endometrial cancer, so here the researchers develop models to predict the risk of these cancers and of breast cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Absolute risk prediction models are constructed by combining estimates for risk factors from cohorts with population-based incidence rates from cancer registries. Models are validated in an independent cohort by testing their ability to identify people with the disease in an independent cohort and their ability to predict the observed numbers of incident cases. The researchers used data on white, non-Hispanic women aged 50 years or older that were collected during two large prospective US cohort studies of cancer screening and of diet and health, and US cancer incidence and mortality rates provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program to build their models. The models all included parity as a risk factor, as well as other factors. The model for endometrial cancer, for example, also included menopausal status, age at menopause, body mass index (an indicator of the amount of body fat), oral contraceptive use, menopausal hormone therapy use, and an interaction term between menopausal hormone therapy use and body mass index. Individual women's risk for endometrial cancer calculated using this model ranged from 1.22% to 17.8% over the next 20 years depending on their exposure to various risk factors. Validation of the models using data from the US Nurses' Health Study indicated that the endometrial cancer model overestimated the risk of endometrial cancer but that the breast and ovarian cancer models were well calibrated—the predicted and observed risks for these cancers in the validation cohort agreed closely. Finally, the discriminatory power of the models (a measure of how well a model separates people who have a disease from people who do not have the disease) was modest for the breast and ovarian cancer models but somewhat better for the endometrial cancer model.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer can all be predicted using information on known risk factors for these cancers that is easily obtainable. Because these models were constructed and validated using data from white, non-Hispanic women aged 50 years or older, they may not accurately predict absolute risk for these cancers for women of other races or ethnicities. Moreover, the modest discriminatory power of the breast and ovarian cancer models means they cannot be used to decide which women should be routinely screened for these cancers. Importantly, however, these well-calibrated models should provide realistic information about an individual's risk of developing breast, ovarian, or endometrial cancer that can be used in clinical decision-making and that may assist in the identification of potential participants for research studies.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001492.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Lars Holmberg and Andrew Vickers
The US National Cancer Institute provides comprehensive information about cancer (in English and Spanish), including detailed information about breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer;
Information on the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, and on the prospective cohort study of screening and the diet and health study that provided the data used to build the models is also available on the NCI site
Cancer Research UK, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about cancer, including detailed information on breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer
The UK National Health Service Choices website has information and personal stories about breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer; the not-for-profit organization Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about dealing with breast cancer and ovarian cancer
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001492
PMCID: PMC3728034  PMID: 23935463
8.  The influence of menopausal hormone therapy on tumour characteristics and survival in endometrial cancer patients 
Introduction
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is a well established factor in endometrial carcinogenesis, and therefore, could have prognostic implications. We investigated the effects of ever use of MHT on tumour grade and depth of myometrial invasion, and 5-year relative survival in postmenopausal endometrial cancer patients.
Materials and Methods
We used a nationwide, population-based case-case design, of 683 Swedish women aged 50–74 years diagnosed with endometrial cancer during 1994 to 1995, followed up to 5 years after diagnosis. We applied polytomous multiple logistic regression to investigate the associations between use of MHT and tumour grade, and myometrial invasion and Poisson regression for modelling 5-year excess mortality.
Results
Compared to never use, ever use of any MHT entailed lower risks of having moderately and poorly differentiated tumours. The lowest odds ratios for poorly differentiated tumours were seen for ever users of cyclically combined oestrogen-progestin [OR = 0.23 (95% CI = 0.07–0.73)]. Ever users of any form of MHT; particularly, medium potency MHT users, had significantly lower risks for tumours with deep myometrial invasion. Adjusted estimated relative excess hazard ratios revealed significantly improved survival for ever users of any form of MHT [RER = 0.40 (95% CI = 0.16–0.97)]; in particular ever users of any form of oestrogens [RER = 0.38 (95% CI = 0.15–0.99)].
Conclusion
Endometrial cancer patients who were ever users of MHT had more favourable tumour characteristics and better survival compared to never users of MHT. These findings support the notion that MHT induces endometrial cancer with less aggressive characteristics.
doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2009.05.012
PMCID: PMC2783257  PMID: 19493676
Endometrial cancer; menopause hormone therapy; postmenopausal; tumour grade; myometrial invasion; relative survival; mortality
9.  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Women: Reproductive Factors and Exogenous Hormone Use 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2008;168(3):278-288.
Few studies of reproductive hormone exposures and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have examined NHL subtypes. Associations between reproductive hormonal factors and risk of all NHL and of two predominant subtypes, diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLCL) (n = 233) and follicular lymphoma (n = 173), were investigated among women (n = 581) in a large, population-based, case-control study (1,591 cases, 2,515 controls). Controls (n = 836) identified by random digit dialing were frequency matched by age and county to incident NHL cases ascertained in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in 1988–1993. Adjusted unconditional logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios. More than four pregnancies indicated a possible lower risk of all NHL (odds ratio (OR) = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55, 1.2; p-trend = 0.06) and of DLCL (OR = 0.53, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.90; p-trend = 0.01). Exclusive use of menopausal hormone therapy for ≥5 years was associated with a reduced risk of all NHL (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.48, 0.98) and of DLCL (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.85). Oral contraceptive use indicated a lower risk of all NHL (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.94), and perhaps DLCL (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.2), and of follicular lymphoma (OR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.46, 1.2). Results suggest that endogenous and exogenous reproductive hormones confer different risks by NHL subtype and are associated with a reduced risk of DLCL in women.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwn119
PMCID: PMC2727261  PMID: 18550561
case-control studies; contraception; estrogens; hormone replacement therapy; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; menopause; pregnancy; reproduction
10.  Postmenopausal hormone therapy and non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a pooled analysis of InterLymph case–control studies 
Annals of Oncology  2012;24(2):433-441.
Background
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL) have different sex ratios and are diagnosed at ages over 60 years; DLBCL is more common in men and diagnosed at older ages than FL, which occurs more among women. This analysis of postmenopausal women examines the relationship between postmenopausal hormone therapy and NHL.
Design
Self-reported use of postmenopausal hormone therapy from 2094 postmenopausal women with NHL and 2731 without were pooled across nine case–control studies (1983–2005) from North America, Europe and Japan. Study-specific odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) estimated using logistic regression were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses.
Results
Postmenopausal women who used hormone therapy were at decreased risk of NHL (pooled OR = 0.79, 95% CI 0.69–0.90). Risks were reduced when the age of starting was 50 years or older. There was no clear trend with number of years of use. Current users were at decreased risk while those stopping over 2 years before diagnosis were not. Having a hysterectomy or not did not affect the risk. Favourable effects were present for DLBCL (pooled OR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.54–0.80) and FL (pooled OR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.66–1.01).
Conclusion
Postmenopausal hormone therapy, particularly used close to menopause, is associated with a decreased risk of NHL.
doi:10.1093/annonc/mds340
PMCID: PMC3551484  PMID: 22967995
case–control studies; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; follicular lymphoma; menopausal hormone therapy; non-Hodgkin lymphoma
11.  Reproductive Factors and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk in the California Teachers Study 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8135.
Background
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a malignancy etiologically linked to immunomodulatory exposures and disorders. Endogenous female sex hormones may modify immune function and influence NHL risk. Few studies have examined associations between reproductive factors, which can serve as surrogates for such hormonal exposures, and NHL risk by subtype.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Women in the California Teachers Study cohort provided detailed data in 1995–1996 on reproductive history. Follow-up through 2007 identified 574 women with incident B-cell NHL. Hazard rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models to assess associations between reproductive factors and all B-cell NHL combined, diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, follicular lymphomas, and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias/small lymphocytic lymphomas. Pregnancy was marginally associated with lower risk of B-cell NHL (RR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.68–1.04). Much of the reduction in risk was observed after one full-term pregnancy relative to nulligravid women (RR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.54–1.06; P for trend <0.01), particularly for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (P for trend = 0.13), but not among women who had only incomplete pregnancies. Age at first full-term pregnancy was marginally inversely associated with B-cell NHL risk overall (P for trend = 0.08) and for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (P for trend = 0.056). Breast feeding was not associated with B-cell NHL risk overall or by subtype.
Conclusions
Full-term pregnancy and early age at first full-term pregnancy account for most of the observed reduction in B-cell NHL risk associated with gravidity. Pregnancy-related hormonal exposures, including prolonged and high-level exposure to progesterone during a full-term pregnancy may inhibit development of B-cell NHL.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008135
PMCID: PMC2780313  PMID: 19956586
12.  Vascular Effects of Estrogenic Menopausal Hormone Therapy 
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more common in men and postmenopausal women (Post-MW) than premenopausal women (Pre-MW). Despite recent advances in preventive measures, the incidence of CVD in women has shown a rise that matched the increase in the Post-MW population. The increased incidence of CVD in Post-MW has been related to the decline in estrogen levels, and hence suggested vascular benefits of endogenous estrogen. Experimental studies have identified estrogen receptor ERα, ERβ and a novel estrogen binding membrane protein GPR30 (GPER) in blood vessels of humans and experimental animals. The interaction of estrogen with vascular ERs mediates both genomic and non-genomic effects. Estrogen promotes endothelium-dependent relaxation by increasing nitric oxide, prostacyclin, and hyperpolarizing factor. Estrogen also inhibits the mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) contraction including [Ca2+]i, protein kinase C and Rho-kinase. Additional effects of estrogen on the vascular cytoskeleton, extracellular matrix, lipid profile and the vascular inflammatory response have been reported. In addition to the experimental evidence in animal models and vascular cells, initial observational studies in women using menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT) have suggested that estrogen may protect against CVD. However, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) such as the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) and the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which examined the effects of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in older women with established CVD (HERS) or without overt CVD (WHI), failed to demonstrate protective vascular effects of estrogen treatment. Despite the initial set-back from the results of MHT RCTs, growing evidence now supports the ‘timing hypothesis’, which suggests that MHT could increase the risk of CVD if started late after menopause, but may produce beneficial cardiovascular effects in younger women during the perimenopausal period. The choice of an appropriate MHT dose, route of administration, and estrogen/progestin combination could maximize the vascular benefits of MHT and minimize other adverse effects, especially if given within a reasonably short time after menopause to women that seek MHT for the relief of menopausal symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3227781  PMID: 21864249
sex hormones; progesterone; testosterone; phytoestrogens; estrogen receptor; endothelium; vascular smooth muscle; hypertension
13.  Body Size, Recreational Physical Activity, and B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk Among Women in the California Teachers Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;170(10):1231-1240.
Nutritional status and physical activity are known to alter immune function, which may be relevant to lymphomagenesis. The authors examined body size measurements and recreational physical activity in relation to risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the prospective California Teachers Study. Between 1995 and 2007, 574 women were diagnosed with incident B-cell NHL among 121,216 eligible women aged 22–84 years at cohort entry. Multivariable-adjusted relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by fitting Cox proportional hazards models for all B-cell NHL combined and for the 3 most common subtypes: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Height was positively associated with risk of all B-cell NHLs (for >1.70 vs. 1.61–1.65 m, relative risk = 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 1.16, 1.96) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (relative risk = 1.93, 95% confidence interval: 1.09, 3.41). Weight and body mass index at age 18 years were positive predictors of B-cell NHL risk overall. These findings indicate that greater height, which may reflect genetics, early life immune function, infectious exposures, nutrition, or growth hormone levels, may play a role in NHL etiology. Adiposity at age 18 years may be more relevant to NHL etiology than that in later life.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwp268
PMCID: PMC2781760  PMID: 19822569
body mass index; body size; cohort studies; exercise; hip; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; waist-hip ratio
14.  Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Lung Cancer-Specific Mortality Following Diagnosis: The California Teachers Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103735.
Previous results from research on menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and lung cancer survival have been mixed and most have not studied women who used estrogen therapy (ET) exclusively. We examined the associations between MHT use reported at baseline and lung cancer-specific mortality in the prospective California Teachers Study cohort. Among 727 postmenopausal women diagnosed with lung cancer from 1995 through 2007, 441 women died before January 1, 2008. Hazard Ratios (HR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) for lung-cancer-specific mortality were obtained by fitting multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models using age in days as the timescale. Among women who used ET exclusively, decreases in lung cancer mortality were observed (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.52–0.93). No association was observed for estrogen plus progestin therapy use. Among former users, shorter duration (<5 years) of exclusive ET use was associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer mortality (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.35–0.89), whereas among recent users, longer duration (>15 years) was associated with a decreased risk (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38–0.95). Smoking status modified the associations with deceases in lung cancer mortality observed only among current smokers. Exclusive ET use was associated with decreased lung cancer mortality.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103735
PMCID: PMC4117568  PMID: 25079077
15.  Body size and the risk of endometrial cancer by hormone therapy use in postmenopausal women in the California Teachers Study cohort 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2010;21(9):1407-1416.
Objective
To investigate whether hormone therapy (HT) and obesity are associated with endometrial cancer risk among postmenopausal women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Methods
Of 28,418 postmenopausal women, 395 developed type 1 endometrial cancer between 1995 and 2006. Multivariate Cox regression was performed to estimate relative risks (RR), stratified by HT use (never used, ever estrogen-alone (ET), or exclusively estrogen-plus-progestin (EPT)).
Results
Among women who never used HT, overall and abdominal adiposity were associated with increased risk; when evaluated simultaneously, abdominal adiposity was more strongly associated (RR 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–4.5 for waist ≥35 vs. <35 inches). Among women who ever used ET, risk was increased in women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (RR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.3 vs. <25 kg/m2). Neither overall nor abdominal obesity was associated with risk in women who exclusively used EPT (P-interaction<0.001 for BMI by HT use).
Conclusions
Among women who never used HT, risk was strongly positively related to obesity and may have been influenced more by abdominal than overall adiposity; however, due to small numbers, this latter finding requires replication. Among women who ever used ET, being overweight at baseline predicted higher risk, whereas use of EPT mitigated any effect of obesity.
doi:10.1007/s10552-010-9568-8
PMCID: PMC2925506  PMID: 20431936
endometrial cancer; obesity; abdominal adiposity; hormone therapy
16.  Ovarian Cancer and Body Size: Individual Participant Meta-Analysis Including 25,157 Women with Ovarian Cancer from 47 Epidemiological Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(4):e1001200.
A reanalysis of published and unpublished data from epidemiological studies examines the association between height, body mass index, and the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Background
Only about half the studies that have collected information on the relevance of women's height and body mass index to their risk of developing ovarian cancer have published their results, and findings are inconsistent. Here, we bring together the worldwide evidence, published and unpublished, and describe these relationships.
Methods and Findings
Individual data on 25,157 women with ovarian cancer and 81,311 women without ovarian cancer from 47 epidemiological studies were collected, checked, and analysed centrally. Adjusted relative risks of ovarian cancer were calculated, by height and by body mass index.
Ovarian cancer risk increased significantly with height and with body mass index, except in studies using hospital controls. For other study designs, the relative risk of ovarian cancer per 5 cm increase in height was 1.07 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–1.09; p<0.001); this relationship did not vary significantly by women's age, year of birth, education, age at menarche, parity, menopausal status, smoking, alcohol consumption, having had a hysterectomy, having first degree relatives with ovarian or breast cancer, use of oral contraceptives, or use of menopausal hormone therapy. For body mass index, there was significant heterogeneity (p<0.001) in the findings between ever-users and never-users of menopausal hormone therapy, but not by the 11 other factors listed above. The relative risk for ovarian cancer per 5 kg/m2 increase in body mass index was 1.10 (95% CI, 1.07–1.13; p<0.001) in never-users and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.92–0.99; p = 0.02) in ever-users of hormone therapy.
Conclusions
Ovarian cancer is associated with height and, among never-users of hormone therapy, with body mass index. In high-income countries, both height and body mass index have been increasing in birth cohorts now developing the disease. If all other relevant factors had remained constant, then these increases in height and weight would be associated with a 3% increase in ovarian cancer incidence per decade.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Cancer of the ovaries, usually referred to as ovarian cancer, is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women, and, unfortunately, symptoms (such as abdominal pain and swelling) usually occur late in the disease process; fewer than one-third of ovarian cancers are detected before they have spread outside of the ovaries. There is no definitive evidence that screening reduces mortality from ovarian cancer, and given the poor prognosis of advanced ovarian cancer, there has been much research over recent years to increase understanding of this serious condition. There are recognized risk factors that increase the chance of developing ovarian cancer, such as increasing age, having fewer children, not having used oral contraceptives, and use of menopausal hormone therapy. Age and oral contraceptive use have by far the biggest impact on ovarian cancer risk.
Why Was This Study Done?
To date, there is no definitive information about the relevance of women's height, weight, and body mass index to their subsequent risk of developing ovarian cancer. There have been roughly 50 epidemiological studies of ovarian cancer, but only about half of these studies have published results on the association between body size and ovarian cancer risk, and so far, these findings have been inconsistent. Therefore, the researchers—an international collaboration of researchers studying ovarian cancer—re-analyzed the available epidemiological evidence to investigate the relationship between ovarian cancer risk and adult height, weight, and body mass index, and to examine the consistency of the findings across study designs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
After an extensive literature search, the researchers identified 47 eligible studies that collected individual data on women's reproductive history, use of hormonal therapies, height, weight, and/or body mass index, and in which the principal investigators of each study accepted the invitation from the researchers to be involved in the re-analysis. The researchers combined data from the different studies. To ensure that women in one study were only directly compared with controls (similar women without ovarian cancer) in the same study, all analyses were routinely stratified by study, center within study, age, parity, use of oral contraceptives, use of hormonal therapy for menopause, and menopausal status or hysterectomy.
The 47 studies were conducted in 14 countries and comprised a total of 25,157 women with ovarian cancer (mostly from Europe and North America) and 81,311 women without ovarian cancer. The researchers found a significant increase in relative risk (1.07) of ovarian cancer per 5 cm increase in height. Furthermore, this risk did not vary depending on other studied factors—age, year of birth, education, age at menarche, parity, menopausal status, smoking, alcohol consumption, having had a hysterectomy, having first degree relatives with ovarian or breast cancer, use of oral contraceptives, or use of menopausal hormone therapy. However, the researchers found that for body mass index, the risks depended on whether women had ever taken menopausal hormone therapy: the relative risk for ovarian cancer per 5 kg/m2 increase in body mass index was 1.10 in women who had never taken menopausal hormone therapy but was only 0.95 in women who had previously taken menopausal hormone therapy.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that increasing height can be considered as a risk factor for ovarian cancer and that in women who have never taken menopausal hormone therapy, increased body mass index can be considered an additional risk factor. These findings have public health implications, especially in high-income countries, because the average height of women has increased by about 1 cm per decade and average body mass index has increased by about 1 kg/m2 per decade. The findings suggest an associated increase in ovarian cancer incidence of 3% per decade if all other factors relevant for ovarian cancer remain constant.
Additional Information
Please access these web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001200.
The following organizations give more information on ovarian cancer which may be of use to patients: MedicineNet, the US National Cancer Institute, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, Macmillan Cancer Support
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001200
PMCID: PMC3317899  PMID: 22606070
17.  Postmenopausal hormone therapy and asthma onset in the E3N cohort 
Thorax  2010;65(4):292-297.
Background
Epidemiological studies have suggested that female hormones might play a role in asthma and that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT or HRT) might increase the risk of asthma in postmenopausal women. The only prospective study addressing this issue reports an increase in the risk of developing asthma which was similar for estrogen alone and estrogen/progestagen treatment.
Methods
The association between the use of different types of MHT and the risk of asthma onset in postmenopausal women was investigated prospectively from 1990 to 2002 by biennial questionnaire as part of the French E3N cohort study. Asthma onset was considered to be the time of medical diagnosis of asthma cases occurring during the follow up of women who were asthma free at baseline. Cox proportional hazards models were used, adjusting for potential confounding factors.
Results
Among 57,664 women free of asthma at menopause 569 incident cases of asthma were identified during 495,448 years of follow-up. MHT was related to an increased risk of asthma onset (HR= 1.20, 95% CI 0.98–1.46) among recent users. The increase in risk of asthma onset was only significant among women reporting the use of estrogen alone (HR= 1.54, 95% CI 1.13–2.09).particularly in never smokers (HR= 1.80 95% CI 1.15–2.80) and women reporting allergic disease prior to asthma onset (HR= 1.86 95% CI 1.18–2.93). A small increase in the risk of asthma onset associated with the use of estrogen/progestagen was also observed in these subgroups.
Conclusion
Postmenopausal use of estrogen alone was associated with an increased rate of newly diagnosed asthma in menopausal women.
doi:10.1136/thx.2009.116079
PMCID: PMC2962872  PMID: 20142267
Asthma; Epidemiology; Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT); Hormone replacement therapy (HRT); Asthma; chemically induced; epidemiology; Body Mass Index; Drug Combinations; Estrogen Replacement Therapy; adverse effects; utilization; Estrogens; adverse effects; Female; France; epidemiology; Humans; Middle Aged; Postmenopause; Progesterone; adverse effects; Prospective Studies; Risk Factors
18.  Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Risk among Pre- and Postmenopausal Women in the U.S. Radiologic Technologists Cohort 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2008;20(3):323-333.
Objective
To clarify aspects of the association between physical activity and breast cancer, such as activity intensity required, and possible effect modification by factors such as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use.
Methods
We prospectively examined physical activity in relation to breast cancer risk among 45,631 women participating in the U.S. Radiologic Technologists cohort. Participants provided information at baseline regarding hours spent per week engaging in strenuous activity, walking/hiking for exercise, and walking at home or work. We estimated multivariable relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of breast cancer using Cox regression.
Results
We identified 864 incident invasive breast cancers. Greatest risk reduction was observed among women who reported walking/hiking for exercise 10 or more hours per week (RR, 0.57;95%CI, 0.34-0.95) compared with those reporting no walking/hiking. The association between walking/hiking for exercise and breast cancer was modified by MHT use (p for interaction=0.039). Postmenopausal women who never used MHT had reduced risks of breast cancer associated with physical activity whereas no relation was observed among ever users of MHT.
Conclusion
Our study suggests moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking, may protect against breast cancer. Further, the relation between physical activity and breast cancer may be modified by MHT use.
doi:10.1007/s10552-008-9246-2
PMCID: PMC2649702  PMID: 18941914
breast cancer; physical activity; cohort studies; hormones
19.  Body mass index and risk of ovarian cancer 
Cancer  2009;115(4):812-822.
Convincing epidemiologic evidence links excess body mass to increased risks of endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancers but the relation of body mass index (BMI) to ovarian cancer risk remains inconclusive. Potential similarities regarding a hormonal mechanism in the etiology of female cancers highlight the importance of investigating associations according to menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use. However, data addressing whether the relation of BMI to ovarian cancer differs by MHT use are very sparse. We prospectively investigated the association between BMI and ovarian cancer among 94,525 U.S. women, followed from 1996–1997 to December 31, 2003. During 7 years of follow-up, we documented 303 epithelial ovarian cancer cases. As compared with normal weight women (BMI 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), the multivariate relative risk (MVRR) of ovarian cancer for obese women (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) in the cohort as a whole was 1.25 (95%-CI=0.93–1.68). Among women who never used MHT, the MVRR for obese versus normal weight women was 1.80 (95%-CI=1.16–2.80). In contrast, no relation between BMI and ovarian cancer was apparent among women who ever used MHT (MVRR=0.96; 95%-CI=0.64–1.43; P-interaction=0.02). Exploratory analyses also suggested a positive association between BMI and ovarian cancer among women without a family history of ovarian cancer (MVRR comparing obese versus normal weight women=1.36; 95%-CI=0.99–1.85), but no relation with BMI was apparent among women with a positive family history of ovarian cancer (MVRR=0.73; 95%-CI=0.34–1.60; P-interaction=0.02). We suspect that obesity is associated with enhanced ovarian cancer risk through a hormonal mechanism.
doi:10.1002/cncr.24086
PMCID: PMC3507338  PMID: 19127552
20.  Prescribing menopausal hormone therapy: an evidence-based approach 
The constantly changing landscape regarding menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) has been challenging for providers caring for menopausal women. After a decade of fear and uncertainty regarding MHT, reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative data and the results of recent studies have provided some clarity regarding the balance of risks and benefits of systemic MHT. Age and years since menopause are now known to be important variables affecting the benefit-risk profile. For symptomatic menopausal women who are under 60 years of age or within 10 years of menopause, the benefits of MHT generally outweigh the risks. Systemic MHT initiated early in menopause appears to slow the progression of atherosclerotic disease, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. During this window of opportunity, MHT might also provide protection against cognitive decline. In older women and women more than 10 years past menopause, the risk-benefit balance of MHT is less favorable, particularly with regard to cardiovascular risk and cognitive impairment. For women entering menopause prematurely (<40 years), MHT ameliorates the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cognitive decline. Nonoral administration of estrogen offers advantages due to the lack of first-pass hepatic metabolism, which in turn avoids the increased hepatic synthesis of clotting proteins, C-reactive protein, triglycerides, and sex hormone-binding globulin. The duration of combined MHT use is ideally limited to less than 5 years because of the known increase in breast cancer risk after 3–5 years of use. Limitations to use of estrogen only MHT are less clear, since breast cancer risk does not appear to increase with use of estrogen alone. For women under the age of 60 years, or within 10 years of onset of natural menopause, MHT for the treatment of bothersome menopausal symptoms poses low risk and is an acceptable option, particularly when nonhormonal management approaches fail.
doi:10.2147/IJWH.S38342
PMCID: PMC3897322  PMID: 24474847
hormone therapy; hot flash; flush; menopause
21.  Sex Hormones and the QT Interval: A Review 
Journal of Women's Health  2012;21(9):933-941.
Abstract
A prolonged QT interval is a marker for an increased risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Both endogenous and exogenous sex hormones have been shown to affect the QT interval. Endogenous testosterone and progesterone shorten the action potential, and estrogen lengthens the QT interval. During a single menstrual cycle, progesterone levels, but not estrogen levels, have the dominant effect on ventricular repolarization in women. Studies of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) in the form of estrogen-alone therapy (ET) and estrogen plus progesterone therapy (EPT) have suggested a counterbalancing effect of exogenous estrogen and progesterone on the QT. Specifically, ET lengthens the QT, whereas EPT has no effect. To date, there are no studies on oral contraception (OC) and the QT interval, and future research is needed. This review outlines the current literature on sex hormones and QT interval, including the endogenous effects of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and the exogenous effects of estrogen and progesterone therapy in the forms of MHT and hormone contraception. Further, we review the potential mechanisms and pathophysiology of sex hormones on the QT interval.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2011.3444
PMCID: PMC3430484  PMID: 22663191
22.  Impact of Sex Hormone Metabolism on the Vascular Effects of Menopausal Hormone Therapy in Cardiovascular Disease 
Current drug metabolism  2010;11(8):693-714.
Epidemiological studies have shown that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is less common in pre-menopausal women (Pre-MW) compared to men of the same age or post-menopausal women (Post-MW), suggesting cardiovascular benefits of estrogen. Estrogen receptors (ERs) have been identified in the vasculature, and experimental studies have demonstrated vasodilator effects of estrogen/ER on the endothelium, vascular smooth muscle (VSM) and extracellular matrix. Several natural and synthetic estrogenic preparations have been developed for relief of menopausal vasomotor symptoms. However, whether menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is beneficial in postmenopausal CVD remains controversial. Despite reports of vascular benefits of MHT from observational and experimental studies, randomized clinical trials (RCTs), such as the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) and the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), have suggested that, contrary to expectations, MHT may increase the risk of CVD. These discrepancies could be due to age-related changes in sex hormone synthesis and metabolism, which would influence the effective dose of MHT and the sex hormone environment in Post-MW. Age-related changes in the vascular ER subtype, structure, expression, distribution, and post-ER signaling pathways in the endothelium and VSM, along with factors related to the design of RCTs, preexisting CVD condition, and structural changes in the blood vessels architecture have also been suggested as possible causes of MHT failure in CVD. Careful examination of these factors should help in identifying the causes of the changes in the vascular effects of estrogen with age. The sex hormone metabolic pathways, the active versus inactive estrogen metabolites, and their effects on vascular function, the mitochondria, the inflammatory process and angiogenesis should be further examined. Also, the genomic and non-genomic effects of estrogenic compounds should be viewed as integrated rather than discrete responses. The complex interactions between these factors highlight the importance of careful design of MHT RCTs, and the need of a more customized approach for each individual patient in order to enhance the vascular benefits of MHT in postmenopausal CVD.
PMCID: PMC3063102  PMID: 21189141
estrogen; phytoestrogens; estrogen receptor; endothelium; vascular smooth muscle; hypertension; progesterone; testosterone
23.  Alcohol Consumption Over Time and Risk of Lymphoid Malignancies in the California Teachers Study Cohort 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;172(12):1373-1383.
Several previous studies found inverse associations between alcohol consumption and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. However, most studies were retrospective, and few distinguished former drinkers or infrequent drinkers from consistent nondrinkers. Therefore, the authors investigated whether history of alcohol drinking affected risks of NHL and multiple myeloma among 102,721 eligible women in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort study in which 496 women were diagnosed with B-cell NHL and 101 were diagnosed with multiple myeloma between 1995–1996 and December 31, 2007. Incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Risk of all types of B-cell NHL combined or multiple myeloma was not associated with self-reported past consumption of alcohol, beer, wine, or liquor at ages 18–22 years, at ages 30–35 years, or during the year before baseline. NHL subtypes were inconsistently associated with alcohol intake. However, women who were former alcohol drinkers at baseline were at elevated risk of overall B-cell NHL (rate ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.97) and follicular lymphoma (rate ratio = 1.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 3.28). The higher risk among former drinkers emphasizes the importance of classifying both current and past alcohol consumption and suggests that factors related to quitting drinking, rather than alcohol itself, may increase B-cell NHL risk.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwq309
PMCID: PMC3105275  PMID: 20952595
alcohol drinking; cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; multiple myeloma
24.  Differences in Menopausal Hormone Therapy Use among Women in Germany between 1998 and 2003 
BMC Women's Health  2007;7:19.
Background
To examine the differences in menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use and user profiles among women in Germany before and after the communication of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial and other study results concerning the risks and benefits of MHT.
Methods
Current MHT use was ascertained in two periodic German national health surveys conducted in 1997–1999 and 2003–2004. MHT prevalence and user profiles were assessed within each survey. The association of the survey period (2003–2004 vs. 1997–1999) with current MHT use was analyzed in weighted multivariable logistic regression (MLR) models, pooling data from both surveys.
Results
The overall prevalence of current MHT use decreased by 40.2% from 16.9% of the sample in 1997–1999 to 10.1% in 2003–2004. The difference in prevalence between surveys varied with age decade with the smallest decreases among women 60–69 years of age (20.3% vs. 18.5%), compared to women of younger and older age groups (40–49: 10.7% vs. 3.9%; 50–59: 36.3% vs. 21.3%; 70–79: 5.7% vs. 3.2%). Variables independently associated with higher current MHT use in both health surveys included age category (curvilinear relationship with highest use among women 50–59 years) and residence in West vs. East Germany. A higher social status, lower body mass index, and more health-conscious behaviour were significantly associated with higher current MHT use in the 1997–1999 survey, but these associations were not found in the later survey. MLR analyses confirmed a significant decline in MHT use between the 1997–1999 and 2003–2004 surveys, however, the effect was modified by social status and was not significant among lowest social-status women.
Conclusion
Current MHT use considerably declined among women in Germany between the pre- and post-WHI era. A convergence of current MHT use among women of higher social status with pre-existing patterns of use among lower social-status women suggests that MHT in Germany is now less likely to be used for health promotion.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-7-19
PMCID: PMC2233614  PMID: 17945013
25.  Oophorectomy, hormone therapy, and subclinical coronary artery disease in women with hysterectomy: the Women’s Health Initiative coronary artery calcium study 
Menopause (New York, N.Y.)  2008;15(4 Pt 1):639-647.
Objective
Surgical menopause has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease events. In this study, we aimed to determine the associations between coronary artery calcium (CAC) and hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and hormone therapy use with a focus on the duration of menopause for which there was no hormone therapy use.
Design
In a substudy of the Women’s Health Initiative placebo-controlled trial of conjugated equine estrogens (0.625 mg/d), we measured CAC by computed tomography 1.3 years after the trial was stopped. Participants included 1,064 women with previous hysterectomy, aged 50 to 59 years at baseline. The mean trial period was 7.4 years. Imaging was performed at a mean of 1.3 years after the trial was stopped.
Results
Mean age was 55.1 years at randomization and 64.8 years at CAC measurement. In the overall cohort, there were no significant associations between bilateral oophorectomy, years since hysterectomy, years since hysterectomy without taking hormone therapy (HT), years since bilateral oophorectomy, and years of HT use before Women’s Health Initiative enrollment and the presence of CAC. However, there was a significant interaction between bilateral oophorectomy and prerandomization HT use for the presence of any CAC (P = 0.05). When multivariable analyses were restricted to women who reported no previous HT use, those with bilateral oophorectomy had an odds ratio of 2.0 (95% CI: 1.2–3.4) for any CAC compared with women with no history of oophorectomy, whereas among women with unilateral or partial oophorectomy, the odds of any CAC was 1.7 (95% CI: 1.0–2.8). Among women with bilateral oophorectomy, HT use within 5 years of oophorectomy was associated with a lower prevalence of CAC.
Conclusions
Among women with previous hysterectomy, subclinical coronary artery disease was more prevalent among those with oophorectomy and no prerandomization HT use, independent of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. The results suggest that factors related to oophorectomy and the absence of estrogen treatment in oophorectomized women may be related to coronary heart disease.
doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e31816d5b1c
PMCID: PMC2751659  PMID: 18458645
Calcium; Coronary; Oophorectomy; Hormone therapy; Women; Coronary artery disease; Atherosclerosis

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