Hormone replacement, race, and psychological health in women: a report from the NHLBI-Sponsored WISE Study

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2004 Apr;13(3):325-32. doi: 10.1089/154099904323016482.


Purpose: We analyzed the impact of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on psychological factors in white and black women. We hypothesized that both groups of women would have fewer symptoms of depression and lower hostility scores associated with HRT use.

Methods: The cohort included 463 postmenopausal women from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study. WISE is a four-center study of women with chest pain who underwent quantitative coronary angiography for suspected ischemia. The psychosocial indices included the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Cook Medley Hostility questionnaire measuring cynicism, hostility, and aggression.

Results: There were no differences by race in use, duration, and type of HRT or presence of menopausal symptoms. There were differences by race in baseline psychological measurements, with black women exhibiting higher BDI scores and higher total Cook Medley scores (p = 0.03) than white women. Use of HRT was consistently associated with better psychological health in white women, with fewer symptoms of depression and lower aggression and cynicism scores (p < 0.04). Black women with menopausal symptoms who used HRT had significantly lower hostility (p < 0.01) and cynicism scores (p < 0.05) than black women who did not use HRT. The presence of menopausal symptoms and hysterectomy status were significant independent predictors of HRT use for both white and black women (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: We observed racial differences in associations between HRT use and psychological health. Within the white but not the black HRT users, there were fewer symptoms of depression and lower aggression and cynicism scores.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aggression
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Depression
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / psychology*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Myocardial Ischemia / psychology*
  • Postmenopause
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Women's Health*