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Use of hormone therapy by female gynecologists and female partners of male gynecologists in Germany 8 years after the Womens Health Initiative study: results of a survey

Buhling, Kai J. MD, PhD1; von Studnitz, Friederike S.G.1; Jantke, Andreas MD2; Eulenburg, Christine PhD3; Mueck, Alfred O. MD, PhD; PharmD4

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318250bfda
Original Articles
Editorial

Objective: The publication of the results of the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial in 2002 resulted in a critical discussion on the risks and benefits of hormone therapy (HT), including estrogen plus progestogen therapy and estrogen therapy. The aim of the present study was to evaluate German gynecologists’ self-prescription habits regarding HT compared with their habits of prescribing HT to their patients, as an expression of their attitude toward HT.

Methods: A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was sent to all 9,589 German gynecologists in private practice in November 2010.

Results: The response rate was 3,227 (33.7%). This article reports the results for 2,549 eligible questionnaires. A total of 2,459 (97.0%) respondents favored HT for themselves or their female partner.

Conclusions: This report describes the first study in Germany showing an underuse of HT among patients in comparison with the self-administration behavior of gynecologists. For various indications, most German gynecologists favored HT for themselves or their female partner (female gynecologists, n = 1,538, 96%; male gynecologists, n = 917, 98.5%, respectively). This study demonstrates that although the great majority of German gynecologists have a favorable attitude regarding personal use of HT, various discrepancies between physician and patient care exist, especially for the indications of cognitive disorders, achievement of overall well-being, and antiaging. This finding calls for a more unified treatment of perimenopausal and postmenopausal disorders.

From the 1Clinic for Gynecology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; 2Clinic for Gynecology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; 3Institute for Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; and 4Universitäts-Frauenklinik, Department of Endocrinology and Menopause, Tübingen, Germany.

Received January 10, 2012; revised and accepted February 16, 2012.

Buhling and von Studnitz contributed equally to this publication.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: K.J.B. is on the speaker’s bureau for Bayer, MSD, Jenapharm; F.S.G.S., A.J., C.E., and A.O.M. did not declare any conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: Kai J. Buhling, MD, PhD, Clinic of Gynecology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraβe 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: kjbuehling@aol.com

©2012The North American Menopause Society