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Prospective cohort study
Use of oestrogen only hormone replacement therapy associated with increased risk of asthma onset in postmenopausal women
  1. Julia Dratva
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Julia Dratva
    Socinstrasse 57, PO Box, 4002 Basel, Switzerland; julia.dratva{at}

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There is abundant evidence of the importance of hormonal factors for incidence and course of asthma. However, whether exogenous hormones, such as menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT), have an impact on asthma is still controversial. While an increase of asthma incidence has been observed in the Nurses' Health Study1 and in a population-based Danish study,2 clinical studies have shown favourable effects of MHT on the course of asthma.3 The study by Romieu and colleagues investigated the impact of MHT on asthma incidence in a prospective cohort and potential differences according to the preparations used.


E3N, a prospective French cohort of female teachers, was established in 1990. Participants filled in a biennial self-administered questionnaire on health status, menopausal status and life-style characteristics until 2002. The analytic sample is based on 57 664 postmenopausal women free of asthma at baseline with data on MHT use and age of first use, corresponding to 495 448 person-years …

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  • Competing interests None.