UK women doctors' use of hormone replacement therapy: 10-year follow up.
Isaacs AJ., Drew SV., McPherson K.
OBJECTIVES: To determine changes in the prevalence and duration of use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women doctors over 10 years. METHODS: Questionnaire survey of 1234 UK women doctors (randomized, stratified sample), compared with a similar survey in 1993. RESULTS: In women aged 50-64 years, the age-standardized prevalence of ever-use of HRT had increased from 53.4% in 1993 to 66.2% in 2003 (p<0.001). There was a marked reduction in uptake by women under 50 years, while the age-standardized prevalence of current use in women aged 50-64 years was unchanged at 38.1%. The discontinuation rate in this age group had increased from 27.8% to 42.4% (p<0.001). Over 20% of women aged 65-74 years were still using HRT. The median duration of HRT use was 8.1 years by current users and 5 years by past users. The major indications were symptom relief and osteoporosis prevention. Current users of HRT tended to have more definite views about the potential risks and benefits of long-term use than past or never-users. CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of women doctors starting HRT increased after 1993, but uptake and continuation rates have now both declined, consistent with prescription data, probably reflecting the changing nature of the evidence base. However, many women doctors still intended to continue long-term HRT.