Hormone Replacement Therapy (2001) and Dry Eyes

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Researchers report that women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) especially the type that employs only estrogen are at increased risk of experiencing dry eye syndrome.

The researchers evaluated the medical histories of over 25,000 women from the Women Health Study. They gathered formation of HRT treatment at the beginning of the evaluation period, after one year, and after three years along with data on dry eye syndrome after four years.

They found marked correlation between HRT and dry eye syndrome. Women who had never received HRT had the lowest rate of dry eye syndrome - 5.9% and the women who used estrogen HRT had the highest rate of 9.1%. Women who used estrogen plus progesterone/progestin treatment had a rate of 6.7%.

They statistically concluded that each 3 year continuation of HRT treatment was tied to a 15% increase in dry eye risk symptoms.

Researchers: Debra Schaumberg, MD et al.

Published: Dry-Eye Syndrome: An Overlooked Side Effect of HRT, Journal of the American Medical Association, November, 2001.