Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hormone Replacement Therapy Appears To Have No Effect On Risk And Severity Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Date:
March 1, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is more predominant in women, the reasons for this are unclear. Many studies have examined the effects of estrogen on the risk and severity of RA, but the results are conflicting and controversial. A new study using data from the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials on hormone replacement therapy found that there were no significant differences in the risk of developing RA or the severity of RA between postmenopausal women who were on hormone replacement therapy and those who took placebos.

Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is more predominant in women, the reasons for this are unclear. Many studies have examined the effects of estrogen on the risk and severity of RA, but the results are conflicting and controversial. A new study using data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trials on hormone replacement therapy found that there were no significant differences in the risk of developing RA or the severity of RA between postmenopausal women who were on hormone replacement therapy and those who took placebos.

The WHI randomized controlled trials included over 27,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79 who took estrogen and progestin, estrogen alone or a placebo. Led by Brian Walitt of Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, the current study identified women who had RA based on whether they reported having it and were taking prescription medications to treat it. Self-reported information about whether women had RA was collected annually, and they were assessed for disease severity at the beginning of the study and after one year. Measures of self-reported joint pain/stiffness were also collected at that time and participants were asked to rate the severity of their symptoms.

The study is the only placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effect of hormone replacement therapy on developing RA and the sixth study to evaluate the effects of hormone therapy on how women perceive disease severity. The results showed that there were 105 new cases and 63 existing cases of RA. There were no statistically significant differences on either new RA cases over an average of five to six years or on the severity of RA symptoms after one year. While earlier studies had suggested that hormones had a protective effect against developing RA, they were observational. The current study found no significant protective benefit from hormones in preventing RA.

Although the prevalence of RA in the study was about half of what is found in the general population, this may be due to the tendency of clinical trials to recruit healthier patients and the exclusion of participants taking prednisone, which is used to treat arthritis. Although the WHI methodology has many advantages over prior studies, the sample size for RA was much less than what would be required to observe the effect of hormone replacement therapy on developing RA. However, it is unlikely that larger studies will be carried out, due to the health risks of hormone replacement therapy. Also, the study relied on self-reported information, and even though it tried to minimize overreporting by including only women taking medications for RA, this approach is not as effective as performing chart reviews or physical exams.

The authors conclude that "the design of the WHI provided a unique opportunity to examine the effects of PHT [postmenopausal hormone therapy] on RA. Despite the participation of 27,347 women, there was no statistically significant evidence of a difference in the hazard of RA incidence or a difference in RA symptom severity between the PHT and placebo groups."

Article: "Effects of Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy on Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trials," Brian Walitt, Mary Pettinger, Arthur Weinstein, James Katz, James Torner, Mary Chester Wasko, Barbara V. Howard, Arthritis Care & Research, March 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Hormone Replacement Therapy Appears To Have No Effect On Risk And Severity Of Rheumatoid Arthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228080536.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, March 1). Hormone Replacement Therapy Appears To Have No Effect On Risk And Severity Of Rheumatoid Arthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228080536.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Hormone Replacement Therapy Appears To Have No Effect On Risk And Severity Of Rheumatoid Arthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228080536.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins