Incidence and progression of lens opacities: effect of hormone replacement therapy and reproductive factors

Epidemiology. 2004 Jul;15(4):451-7. doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000129517.92192.29.


Background: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated in cross-sectional studies with a decreased prevalence of lens opacities. We explored the associations of HRT and reproductive factors with the incidence and progression of lens opacities over a 2-year period.

Methods: Data were derived from 1458 women ages 65 years and older from the Salisbury Eye Evaluation population-based prospective cohort study in Salisbury, MD, 1993-1997.

Results: HRT was not associated with incident nuclear, cortical, or posterior subcapsular opacities, or with progression of nuclear or cortical opacification. Women who had an early menopause had a higher risk of nuclear progression, whereas those who had a later menopause had a lower risk (linear trend P = 0.013). Other variables related to reproduction, such as oral contraceptive use, age at menarche, number of births, and history of hysterectomy, were not associated with any of the outcomes.

Conclusions: These data suggest no evidence of protection against the incidence or progression of lens opacities with HRT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / epidemiology*
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Cataract / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lens, Crystalline / pathology
  • Logistic Models
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Physical Examination
  • Postmenopause / drug effects*
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health