Hormone therapies in women aged 40 and older: Prevalence and correlates of use

Patricia A. Carney, Anna N.A. Tosteson, Linda Titus-Ernstoff, Julia E. Weiss, Martha E. Goodrich, Paul Manganiello, Claudia J. Kasales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Context: The objective of this paper is to report the prevalence and correlates of both prescription and non-prescription hormone use. Design/setting/sample: Cross-sectional baseline study from a prospective cohort of 30,448 women receiving mammography in New Hampshire. Main outcome measures: Odds of prescription hormone and non-prescription hormone use. Results: 29,851 women were included; 62% reported some use of prescription hormone therapy, with current long-term prescription hormone therapy users representing the largest group (25%). Among ever-users, estrogen only was the most commonly used preparation (71% versus 30% for estrogen and progestin combined). Both single agent estrogen and estrogen and progestin combined regimens were taken primarily for treatment of menopausal symptoms or disease prevention. Correlates for prescription hormone use included a family history of breast cancer (associated with decreased use - OR 0.88; 95% CI: 0.84, 0.93), and family history of heart disease (associated with increased use - OR 1.11; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.17). Ten percent of women reported ever use of phytoestrogens (over-the-counter hormones). Family history of breast cancer was a correlate of over-the-counter hormone use (OR 1.10; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.19). Conclusion: Management of menopausal symptoms and disease prevention were the main reasons for using prescription hormones, and health histories were important correlates of both prescription and over-the-counter hormone exposures. As evidence changes regarding risks and benefits of hormone exposure, primary care physicians should help women reassess their use of hormonal agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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