Use of menopausal hormone therapy and bioidentical hormone therapy in Australian women 50 to 69 years of age: Results from a national, cross-sectional study




Velentzis, Louiza
Banks, Emily
Sitas, Freddy
Salagame, Usha
Tan, Eng Hooi
Canfell, Karen

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Public Library of Science


Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) use in Australia fell by 55% from 2001 to 2005, following the release of large-scale findings on its risks and benefits. Comprehensive national data, including information on overall prevalence of MHT use as well as information on duration of use in Australia have not been reported since the 2004–5 National Health Survey, when 11% of women aged 45+ years were estimated to be current MHT users. No national data are available on prevalence of use of “bioidentical” hormone therapy (BHT). The objective of this study was to determine recent prevalence of MHT and BHT use. A cross-sectional, national, age-stratified, population survey was conducted in 2013. Eligible women, aged 50–69 years, resident in Australia were randomly sampled in 5-year age groups from the Medicare enrolment database (Australia’s universal health scheme). The response rate was 22% based on return of completed questionnaires, and analyses were restricted to 4,389 women within the specified age range. The estimated population-weighted prevalence of current use of MHT was 13% (95%CI 12–14), which was broadly similar to the previously reported national figures in 2004–5, suggesting that the use of MHT in Australia has largely stabilised over the past decade. A total of 39% and 20% of current-users with an intact uterus reported use of oestrogen-progestagen MHT and oestrogen-only MHT, respectively, whereas 77% of hysterectomised current-users used oestrogen-only MHT. Almost three-quarters of current-users [population-weighted prevalence 9% (95%CI 8–10)] had used MHT for ≥5 years. In regard to BHT, estimated population-weighted prevalence of ever use was 6% (95%CI 6–7) and 2% (95%CI 2–3) for current use. The population-weighted prevalence of MHT and BHT combined, in current users in their fifties and sixties was 15% (95%CI 14–16). These data provide a recent national “snapshot” of Australian women’s use of both conventional MHT and of BHT.





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