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Hormone therapy use in women veterans accessing veterans health administration care: a national cross-sectional study.

Gerber MR, King MW, Pineles SL, Wiltsey-Stirman S, Bean-Mayberry B, Japuntich SJ, Haskell SG. Hormone therapy use in women veterans accessing veterans health administration care: a national cross-sectional study. Journal of general internal medicine. 2015 Feb 1; 30(2):169-75.

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The majority of women Veterans using VA (Veterans Administration) care fall in the 45-65 year-old age range. Understanding how menopause is managed in this group is of importance to optimizing their health. OBJECTIVE: National population estimates showed a prevalence of hormone therapy (HT) use by women over 45 years of 4.7 % (2009-2010). Our study described the frequency of HT use among women Veterans in VA, and examined whether mental health (MH) was predictive of HT use. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional analysis of national VA administrative data for fiscal year 2009. PARTICIPANTS: Women Veterans over the age of 45 (N? = 157,195) accessing VA outpatient care were included in the analysis. MAIN MEASURES: Logistic regression analyses using HT use as the dependent variable. KEY RESULTS: Mean age was 59.4 years (SD = 12.2, range = 46-110), and 16,227 (10.3 %) of all women used HT. Hysterectomy (OR 3.99 [3.53, 4.49]) and osteoporosis (1.34 [1.27, 1.42]) were the strongest medical indicators of HT use. A total of 49,557 (31.5 %) women in the sample received at least one primary diagnosis of a MH disorder and were more likely to use HT than women with no MH diagnoses (unadjusted OR 1.56, 95 % CI [1.50, 1.61]). Women Veterans with a mood disorder (depression/bipolar) or anxiety disorder [post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other anxiety diagnoses] were more likely to use HT after controlling for demographics and medical comorbidity. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of HT use among women Veterans using VA is more than twice that of the general population. Prior work suggested that women Veterans were discontinuing HT at comparable rates, but these data demonstrate that decline in VA HT use has not kept pace with that of civilian medical care. The association of MH diagnosis with HT use suggests that MH plays an important role in VA rates. Further study is needed to understand contributing patient and provider factors.

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