In a recently published paper, two subsets were extracted from two large health studies in a Finnish population to investigate the menopausal transition including the effect of use of hormone therapy (HT) on the psychological well-being and mental health among peri- and postmenopausal women . The cross-sectional nationwide study, HEALTH 2000 (www.terveys2000.fi) started with a home interview with four self-administered interviews including the modified Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) for the Finnish population. Thereafter, general health was assessed and a new interview, the Composite Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), was administered to measure mental health in the previous 12 months. The second cross-sectional study, the National FINRISK Survey (www.ktl.fi/finriski), has been conducted every 5 years since 1972. For the purpose of this subset study, years 1997, 2002 and 2007 were selected. The survey included a clinical health assessment and a self-administered questionnaire, which contained questions focusing on reproductive and mental health issues (including BDI). The first study was carried out in 1433 peri- or postmenopausal women while the second one studied 5354 women. Together, in these populations, there were 1870 users (mean age 58.6 years) and 4733 non-users (mean age 61.0 years) of HT. A positive association between HT use and some general symptoms, such as feeling tense and nervous, having frightening thoughts, nightmares, feelings of depression and headaches, were observed. Eight other general symptoms were not associated with the use of HT. As to psychiatric diagnosis or its medical treatment in the last year, there was a positive association with HT (odds ratio (OR) 1.44). Likewise, there was a positive association between HT use and low mood (OR 1.22), recent depression (OR 1.44), any psychiatric diagnosis, as measured by CIDI (OR 1.65), major depressive disorder (OR 2.46), and anxiety disorder (OR 2.22) in the last year. Associations were not dependent on the type of HT (estrogen therapy, cyclic, continuous combined, oral, parenteral). The authors conclude that the results show an association between current use of HT and worse psychological well-being and mental health.
Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emeritus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland
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