Research Article| Volume 49, ISSUE 3, P241-251, November 15, 2004

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Use of hormone replacement therapy in Italian women aged 50–70 years


      Objectives: The aim of the present cross-sectional analysis was to describe patterns and determinants of use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in a large sample of women attending mammographic screening. Methods: Between 1999 and 2001, 8533 women aged 50–70 years were recruited by 11 screening centres, and structured interviews were made collecting information on socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits, medical and reproductive history (overall response rate 87%). Results: Current HRT use was reported by 6.9% of women (n=585), the average duration of use being 3.5 years; 13.2% were ever HRT users. Binomial and multinomial logistic regression (MLR) analyses showed that younger age, higher educational level, past mammographic examination and history of bilateral oophorectomy were the major predictors of current and ever HRT use. Current use was also more frequently reported by women who were thinner, nulliparae, had had induced menopause, had a later onset of menopause, with history of oral contraceptive use and hysterectomy without bilateral oophorectomy. By contrast, those who were diabetics or had positive history of cardiovascular disease were less likely to be current HRT users. No differences were found in HRT use according to marital status, type of occupation, menopausal status, smoking, history of breast cancer, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and phlebitis. Conclusions: Our results support previous findings indicating that HRT use in Italian women is uncommon and of short duration. Current HRT users were less likely than non-users to report several characteristics associated with higher mortality and morbidity, in accordance with the healthy-user phenomenon described in other countries.


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