Objective: The aim of this study was to delineate the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) among women who were born between December 2, 1935, and December 1, 1945, and living in the Lund area of southern Sweden and to analyze factors that contribute to the acceptance and continuation of HRT.
Methods: All women received a generic questionnaire pertaining to demographic background, lifestyle, health behavior, and climacteric symptoms and underwent a personal interview. An interim analysis was carried out on 3,900 women. We mailed a hormone questionnaire to the women who were using HRT (n = 1,875). This hormone questionnaire covered, for example, menopausal status, complaints, and alterations in and efficacy of HRT use, as well as the reasons for discontinuing HRT use.
Results: A total of 1,415 (76%) women answered the hormone questionnaire. Forty-eight percent were HRT ever users, and 32% were current users. Mean duration of HRT use was 47 months. The most common incentives for HRT use were alleviation of menopausal symptoms (72%) and prevention of bone loss (50%) and/or cardiovascular disease (31%). Forty-seven percent of HRT users reported that they had changed regimens at least once. HRT users had higher education, full-time work, and a higher consumption of alcohol but less consumption of cigarettes. They reported higher frequencies of climacteric symptoms, past histories of premenstrual syndrome, use of oral contraceptives, and hysterectomy. They also had a higher consumption of healthcare resources. A total of 177 women withdrew from therapy. The most common reasons for discontinuation of HRT were weight gain, anxiety of cancer, bleeding, breast tenderness, and emotional problems. Compared with current users, past users had less positive as well as fewer negative effects of HRT. Several variables contributed to compliance, including education, full-time work, regular exercise, low frequency of persistent climacteric symptoms, and alteration of regimens.
Conclusion: Education, working conditions, lifestyle, interest in prevention, and severity of the climacteric symptoms are determinants for both acceptance of and compliance with HRT.