Menopausal hormone therapy and risk of sarcoidosis: a population-based nested case-control study in Sweden

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Sarcoidosis incidence peaks in women between 50 and 60 years old, which coincides with menopause, suggesting that certain sex hormones, mainly estrogen, may play a role in disease development. We investigated whether menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) was associated with sarcoidosis risk in women and whether the risk varied by treatment type. We performed a nested case-control study (2007-2020) including incident sarcoidosis cases from the Swedish National Patient Register (n = 2593) and matched (1:10) to general population controls (n = 20,003) on birth year, county, and living in Sweden at the time of sarcoidosis diagnosis. Dispensations of MHT were obtained from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register before sarcoidosis diagnosis/matching. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of sarcoidosis were estimated using conditional logistic regression. Ever MHT use was associated with a 25% higher risk of sarcoidosis compared with never use (aOR 1.25, 95% CI 1.13-1.38). When MHT type and route of administration were considered together, systemic estrogen was associated with the highest risk of sarcoidosis (aOR 1.51, 95% CI 1.23-1.85), followed by local estrogen (aOR 1.25, 95% CI 1.11-1.42), while systemic estrogen-progestogen combined was associated with the lowest risk compared to never users (aOR 1.12, 95% CI 0.96-1.31). The aOR of sarcoidosis did not differ greatly by duration of MHT use. Our findings suggest that a history of MHT use is associated with increased risk of sarcoidosis, with women receiving estrogen administered systemically having the highest risk.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Pages (from-to)313–322
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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© 2023. The Author(s).

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