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Women's Menopausal Hormone Use Plummets After Studies

Hormone prescription appointments fell from 26.5 million in 2001 to 16.9 million in 2003

FRIDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Appointments by menopausal women for hormone replacement therapy prescriptions fell by almost 10 million from 2001 to 2003 after the estrogen-progestin arm of the Women's Health Initiative was halted in 2002 when the results linked hormones with health problems, according to a report in the July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Esther Hing, M.P.H., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from two national surveys of medical visits in private doctors' offices and hospitals to calculate appointments involving estrogen-progestin and estrogen-only hormone prescriptions.

The researchers found that between 2001 and 2003, appointments with doctors for hormone prescriptions for aspects of menopause fell to 16.9 million visits from 26.5 million.

Nearly 75 percent of the hormone appointments involved estrogen-only prescriptions. Estrogen-progestin hormone prescription appointments fell 44 percent, compared to a 35 percent drop in estrogen-only appointments. The researchers identified the steepest drop among women aged 50 and over.

"These nationally representative data indicate substantial declines in menopausal hormone prescriptions coinciding with clinical trial results on hormone therapy," the authors conclude.

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