(HealthDay News) — Hormone therapy does not appear to increase the risk of lung cancer among postmenopausal women, according to a study published in Menopause.

In fact, the research suggests that patients receiving higher doses of hormone therapy and those receiving hormone therapy for at least 5 years may have a lower risk of lung cancer.

Researchers examined the risk of lung cancer among 38,104 postmenopausal patients older than 45 years who were treated with hormone therapy between 2000 and 2015 and 152,416 matched patients not treated with hormone therapy. The risk of developing lung cancer was examined during 16 years of follow-up.

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The incidence of lung cancer did not differ significantly between patients who received hormone therapy and those who did not — 0.866% and 0.950%, respectively (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.886; 95% CI, 0.666-1.305; P =.433).

In a subgroup analysis, the risk of lung cancer was significantly lower among patients treated with hormone therapy when the cumulative dosage was at least 401 mg (aHR, 0.633; 95% CI, 0.475-0.930; P <.001) or when the duration of therapy was at least 5 years (aHR, 0.532; 95% CI, 0.330-0.934; P <.001).

“This population-based study showed that hormone therapy use was not associated with lung cancer risk and, further, that it may be linked with a lower risk of lung cancer,” Stephanie Faubion, MD, medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. “This is reassuring for women weighing the cumulative risks and benefits of hormone therapy for management of menopause symptoms or osteoporosis prevention.”

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