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Quality of life and hypertension after hormone therapy withdrawal in New York City

Warren, Michelle P. MD1; Richardson, Olivia BA1; Chaudhry, Sonal MD1; Shu, Aimee D. MD1; Swica, Yael MD1; Sims, Valerie R. BA1; Sloan, Nancy L. DrPH2,3,4

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31828cfd3b
Original Articles

Objective 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.

Methods 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.

Results 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).

Conclusions Discontinuation of HT/ET may predispose some women to the risk of hypertension and may affect their quality of life.

From the 1Columbia University, New York, NY; 2University Research Corp., Bethesda, MD; 3Gynuity Health Projects, New York, NY; and 4Christiana Care Health Systems, Newark, DE.

Received December 3, 2012; revised and accepted February 12, 2013.

Funding/support: This study was supported by an investigator-initiated grant from Pfizer.

Pfizer had no role in the conduct of the study or in the composition of this manuscript.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: M.P.W. is on speakers’ bureau for Ascend Pharmaceuticals and has received grants for women’s health scholarship from Pfizer. Other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to: Michelle P. Warren, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, PH 16-127, New York, NY 10032. E-mail:

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society.