August 31, 2017
3 min read

Hormone therapy less common among postmenopausal women with vs. without diabetes

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Postmenopausal women with obesity, diabetes or breast cancer are less likely to use hormone therapy compared with their healthier counterparts, according to study findings published in Menopause.

Christy Costanian, MSc, of the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto, and colleagues evaluated data from the “tracking” cohort of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging on 854 Canadian women interviewed between 2010 and 2013 about their HT use to determine the prevalence and factors associated with the therapy.

Overall, 9.5% of participants reported current use, 21.9% reported past use and 68.6% reported no use. Participants aged 50 to 54 years at the time of HT initiation were most likely to be current or past users than participants who were younger or older.

Estrogen alone was the most commonly used HT among current users (45.6%) followed by estrogen plus progesterone (35.5%), estrogen via cream or gel (9.7%) and progesterone alone (8%).

In the multinomial and binomial logistic regressions, participants reporting more than one ethnic background or who were neither white or aboriginal were less likely to be current users compared with white women (OR = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21-0.89). Current HT use was less likely among participants with obesity (OR = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.52-0.8) or diabetes (OR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.55-0.91) than participants without obesity or diabetes.

Current HT use decreased with increasing age (OR = 0.31; 95% CI, 0.15-0.63). Current HT use was less likely among participants who reported a non-white ethnic background (OR = 0.32; 95% CI, 0.14-0.73), who were currently employed (OR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.61-0.94), were current smokers (OR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.49-0.97), and who had obesity (OR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.44-0.75) or breast cancer (OR = 0.43; 95% CI, 0.26-0.71) compared with their counterparts. However, current HT use was more likely among participants who regularly performed physical activity (OR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.03-1.46), who drank alcohol at least weekly (compared with never drinking, OR = 1.94; 95% CI, 1.44-2.61) or less than weekly (compared with never drinking, OR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.13-2.02), who were postmenopausal, and who had any allergies (OR = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.08-1.54) or any mood disorders (OR = 1.86; 95% CI, 1.5-2.32) compared with their counterparts.

“Ascertainment of providers’ knowledge and prescribing patterns will also yield key information to understand HT use, as it is important that HT be given after a thorough and systematic risk/benefit assessment,” the researchers wrote. “Finally, effective doctor-patient communication and programs to increase women’s awareness and education about menopause management is essential to improve their understanding, compliance and ability to cope with the symptoms accompanying the menopausal transition.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.