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The aim of a recently published study by Cummings and colleagues was to survey the views of women who stopped hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after 2002, including those who later restarted [1]. A questionnaire survey was carried out on the UK-based menopause website www.menopausematters.co.uk, evaluating how women were influenced by HRT advice. The main outcome measures were the answers to questions regarding stopping/restarting HRT in response to the advice in the early 2000s and advice given today. A total of 1100 responses were obtained. Of those who made the decision to stop HRT themselves, 56.4% ([i]n[/i] = 425/754) said that they were influenced by the media. In those who would potentially most benefit from HRT, 72.8% ([i]n[/i] = 220/302) stopped without medical advice. Overall, women aged under 50 years were significantly more likely to stop HRT themselves than women over 50 years ([i]p[/i] < 0.001). In women in whom symptoms returned, 37.5% ([i]n[/i] = 362/966) said these affected their ability to work, 45.1% ([i]n[/i] = 436) had problems with decision making, 53.6% ([i]n[/i] = 518) admitted to relationships being negatively affected and 29.2% ([i]n[/i] = 286) said that symptoms affected their social relationships. Overall, 46.5% of women ([i]n[/i] = 485/1044) would not have stopped HRT given the current understanding of risk. Compared with women over 50, significantly more women under the age of 50 said that they would not have previously stopped their HRT based on their current understanding of risk ([i]p[/i] < 0.001).

Author(s)

  • Nick Panay
    Queen Charlottes & Chelsea and Chelsea & Westminster Hospitals, London, UK

Citations

  1. Cumming GP, Currie HD, Panay N, Moncur R, Lee AJ. Stopping hormone replacement therapy: were women ill advised? Menopause Int 2011;17:82-7.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903711
  2. Writing Group for the Womens Health Initiative Investigators. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Womens Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002;288:321-33.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12117397
  3. Beral V; Million Women Study Collaborators. Breast cancer and hormone-replacement therapy in the Million Women Study. Lancet 2003;362:419-27.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12927427
  4. Ockene JK, Barad DH, Cochrane BB, et al. Symptom experience after discontinuing use of estrogen plus progestin. JAMA 2005;294:183-93.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16014592
  5. Genazzani AR, Schneider HP, Panay N, Nijland EA. The European Menopause Survey: womens perceptions on the menopause and postmenopausal hormone therapy. Gynecol Endocrinol 2005;22:369-75.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16864146
  6. Eysenbach G. Improving the quality of web surveys: the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-surveys (CHERRIES). J Med Internet Res 2004;6:e34.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15471760
  7. Cumming GP, Currie HD, Moncur R, Lee AJ. Web-based survey on the effect of menopause on a womens libido in a computer literate population. Menopause Int 2009;15:8-12.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237616
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