Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and risk of acute pancreatitis: a population-based case-control study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;102(2):275-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2006.00924.x.


Objectives: To examine whether acute pancreatitis is associated with the use of postmenopausal hormonal replacement therapy in Danish women over 45 yr of age.

Methods: We based this population-based case-control study on data from three Danish counties for the years 1991-2003. We identified all women (>45 yr of age) with a first hospital discharge diagnosis of acute pancreatitis in the county hospital discharge registries (N = 1,054). Using the Danish Civil Registration System, we selected 10 age-matched population controls for each case, using risk set sampling (N = 10,540). Data on all prescriptions for estrogens or combined estrogen/progestins redeemed within 90 days before the hospitalization (current users) and 91-365 days before (former users) were collected from the prescription databases. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the relative risk of acute pancreatitis after exposure to estrogen or combined estrogen/progestin, adjusted for other risk factors for acute pancreatitis.

Results: The adjusted relative risk for acute pancreatitis in current users of menopausal estrogens was 1.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8-1.4), and 1.1 (95% CI 0.8-1.5) in former users. For current users of combined estrogen/progestins, the adjusted relative risk was 1.2 (95% CI 0.9-1.6), and for former users, 1.6 (95% CI 1.0-2.5).

Conclusions: Our data did not support a substantial association between acute pancreatitis and the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Confidence Intervals
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Estrogens / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing / chemically induced*
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Postmenopause*
  • Progestins / adverse effects
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Estrogens
  • Progestins