IMAJ | volume
Journal 9, September 2002
Background: Despite the controversy regarding the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, studies in various countries indicate a two- to threefold increase in the use of HRT during the last decade.
Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of HRT use among post-menopausal Jewish women in Israel and to determine the variables predicting current HRT use.
Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted in 1998 on a random sample of Jewish women aged 45–74. Of 935 women who were located and eligible, 704 (75%) were interviewed by means of a structured questionnaire.
Results: A total of 589 women (85%) were peri-menopausal or post-menopausal. Ninety-nine of them (16.8%) were currently using HRT and 78 (13.2%) were past users. Higher rates of current use were found among women who had undergone hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy (38%) than among all other women (13.5%). Among naturally menopausal women the highest rate of current use (25.6%) was found in those aged 55–59. A multiple logistic regression showed that the variables associated with current HRT use among naturally menopausal women were: having a regular gynecologist (odds ratio 3.6, 95% confidence interval 1.7–7.5), visiting a gynecologist during the past year (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4–6.0), experiencing symptoms of menopause (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.01–3.8), having more than a high-school education (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.04–3.6), and a lower body mass index (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85–0.99).
Conclusions: The factors associated with HRT use may be markers for other socioeconomic or psychological characteristics. The disparities noted between population subgroups may be indicative of differences in awareness or in the delivery of preventive healthcare services to women in Israel, and as such need to be addressed by the health system.
HRT = hormone replacement therapy
OR = odds ratio
CI = confidence interval