Changing use of hormone therapy among minority women since the Women's Health Initiative

Ira M. Helenius, Deborah Korenstein, Ethan A. Halm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: There has been a significant shift in the use of hormone therapy (HT) among nonminority women since the publication of results of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Little is known about how the WHI results affected minority populations. This survey measured patterns of HT use among inner city women after publication of the WHI results, identified factors involved in the decision to continue or discontinue HT, and characterized the symptom burden and the experience of women who attempted to discontinue HT. DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 101 English- and Spanish-speaking women in an inner city general internal medicine clinic from August 2003 to April 2004. All women had been taking HT at the time of the publication of the WHI results. The survey included questions on patient-reported experience with HT, symptoms of menopause, and use of alternative treatments. RESULTS: Overall, 101 of 142 (71%) eligible women agreed to participate. The mean age of participants was 60 years; 43% were African American and 46% were Hispanic. The mean duration of HT use was 9.6 years. Three quarters (74%) had heard about the WHI findings, and 87% had attempted to stop taking HT after their publication. The most common reason for attempting to stop HT was concern about an increased risk of cancer or a general increase in risk to health. Of those who stopped HT, the vast majority (85%) reported vasomotor symptoms, and 26% restarted HT, mostly to treat those symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly all minority women in this small sample attempted to stop HT use after the results of the WHI were published. Restarting HT for treatment of symptoms was common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-222
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Hormone therapy
  • Minority women
  • Women's Health Initiative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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