This work aims to study the use of hormone therapy (HT) in a representative cohort of Norwegian women during the menopausal transition, to identify predictors of HT use, and to describe the reappearance of symptoms in former HT users.
In 1997, 2,229 women in Hordaland County, aged 40 to 44 years, were selected randomly from a national health survey and followed up with seven postal questionnaires in 1999-2010. Data from 2,002 women (90%) were eligible for analysis. Summary statistics and multiple logistic regression analysis were used. We studied the reappearance of symptoms after HT discontinuation using a subcohort based on their propensity scores for HT use.
The 2-year incidence of new HT users dropped from 8.2% (95% CI, 7.0-9.5) in 2002 to 4.3% (95% CI, 3.4-5.2) in 2004 and remained stable despite an increasing prevalence of symptoms in the cohort. Self-rated health was stable during the period. The mean duration of HT use was 4.5 years (95% CI, 4.0-5.0). The odds of HT use were higher among women with daily hot flushes than among those who never or rarely experienced them (odds ratio, 3.2; 95% CI, 2.3-4.4). After HT cessation, hot flushes returned and corresponded to those in untreated controls.
The 2-year incidence of HT users decreased almost 50% after 2002. Increasing symptoms and decreasing incidence of HT use did not influence self-rated health. Hot flushes were the strongest predictor of HT use. Symptoms reappeared in most women after HT cessation.