Many women stopped hormone therapy (HT) or estrogen therapy (ET) after the Women’s Health Initiative results were published in 2002. This study assessed the incidence of hypertension, weight gain, and dyslipidemia; conditions that predispose to chronic diseases; medication use; and quality of life in women who used HT/ET for at least 5 years and subsequently stopped its use compared with those who continued its use.
A retrospective study was conducted. All consenting eligible women (aged 56-73 y) in physicians’ offices were interviewed, and measurements of weight, height, waist-to-hip ratio, and body fat were performed. Standardized quality-of-life and menopausal and medical questionnaires were administered. Three groups were compared: group 1, women who have remained on HT/ET; group 2, women who have resumed HT/ET after stopping for at least 6 months; and group 3, women who have stopped HT/ET and have not resumed.
One hundred fifty-nine women were enrolled in group 1, 43 women were enrolled in group 2, and 108 women were enrolled in group 3. Women’s characteristics were similar, except that group 3 was 1.5 (0.5) years older and had 4.4 (0.7) years less HT/ET use than groups 1 and 2. Utian Quality of Life scores were significantly lower in group 3 (83.4 [12.5]) than in groups 1 and 2 (87.6 [13.3], P < 0.02), particularly in the occupational satisfaction scale. About 16.6% and 16.3% of women in groups 1 and 2 were on antihypertensive medication, respectively, compared with 27.4% in group 3 (P < 0.04).
Discontinuation of HT/ET may predispose some women to the risk of hypertension and may affect their quality of life.