Objectives: we analyzed the determinants of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) use in Italy for the period 1992-1996, using data from a framework of case-control studies of colon and rectal neoplasm.
Methods: a total of 1574 women aged 45-74 years were considered. This group comprised women with acute, non neoplastic, non-hormone-related diseases admitted to a network of hospitals in six areas of Italy.
Results: a total of 146 women (8.5%) reported ever HRT use. The multivariate odds ratio (OR) of ever use was 1.6 (95% CI 1.0-2.6) for women with 12 years of education or more, compared with those with < 7 years. The frequency of use of HRT tended to decrease with increasing parity: the OR was 0.6 for women with four or more children as compared to nulliparae (chi2 trend 3.5, P = 0.06). Ever HRT users were more frequently smokers. HRT use was more frequent in women reporting surgical menopause (OR = 2.7) than those with natural menopause. Among post menopausal women, HRT use was related with early age at menopause (chi2 trend 4.6, P = 0.03). HRT use was more common among women reporting lower body mass index (BMI) both at interview and at age 30 years and the difference between current BMI and BMI at age 30 years, was not related with HRT use.
Conclusions: women of higher socioeconomic status or education reported more frequent HRT use and nulliparae and smokers were also more likely to use HRT. Further HRT use was directly associated with early age at menopause and surgical menopause and inversely related with measures of body weight.