The overall tumour incidence and breast cancer incidence related to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were followed in a population-based cohort of 29 508 women, aged 25-65 when interviewed in 1990-92. By the end of the follow up in December 1999, there were 226 611 person-years of observation. A total of 1145 malignant tumours were recorded (expected 1166.6; SIR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.93-1.04). There was a small excess of breast cancer with 434 observed and 387.69 expected (SIR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.02-1.23). Among about 3 663 ever users of HRT, there was no increase in overall tumour incidence (SIR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.86-1.12) but a significant excess of breast cancer (SIR = 1.35, 95% CI 1.09-1.64) compared with never users (SIR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.96-1.19). Breast cancer increased with increasing duration of use and for 48-120 months use the SIR was 1.92 (95% CI 1.32-2.70). There was no significant interaction with family history of breast cancer although an independent additive effect was suggested between HRT use and family history. In a Cox regression model time to breast cancer in relation to duration of HRT use was analysed adjusting for age at menarche, age at menopause, age at first full term pregnancy, parity and age at diagnosis. A significantly higher risk was seen for longer duration of HRT use compared with never users. No increased risk is seen in women beyond 5 years after stopping HRT. There was no interaction between previous use of oral contraceptives and later HRT use.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.