skip to Main Content

The North American Menopause Society 1998 menopause survey: Part II. Counseling about hormone replacement therapy: association with socioeconomic status and access to medical care

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine two predictors of women’s obtaining hormone replacement therapy (HRT) counseling: socioeconomic status and access to health care. DESIGN: During May-July 1998, by means of random-digit telephone dialing, 749 postmenopausal women who were living in the United States and aged 50-65 years were interviewed. On average, they were 56.8 years and 11.8 years postmenopausal. Most (86.0%) were Caucasian, and their median annual income was approximately $40,000. Nearly all (90.8%) had medical insurance coverage; 47.6% of those insured received care from a managed care organization. Access to medical care was evidenced by 92.3% being under the care of a primary care physician, 92.3% ever having had a mammogram, 96.9% ever having had a pelvic examination, and 91.1% ever having had a serum cholesterol determination. RESULTS: Of these 749 women, 75.4% reported that they had received counseling about post-menopausal HRT from healthcare providers. Both level of education and level of income were associated with an increased likelihood that HRT counseling would be obtained. Having a personal physician, and particularly receiving care from a gynecologist, increased the likelihood that counseling would be available. There were no substantial differences in counseling frequency between women in managed care plans and those having other types of health insurance. In a multivariate model, adjusted odds ratios for receiving HRT counseling were 2.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.7-4.8) for having an annual income of $50,000 or more versus less than $30,000, 2.8 (95% CI = 1.7-4.5) for receiving care from a gynecologist versus other primary care physician, 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1-3.2) for being Caucasian versus not, and 1.5 (95% CI 1.0-2.2) for having a hysterectomy versus not. CONCLUSIONS: Three quarters of a sample of US postmenopausal women aged 50-65 years reported that they had been counseled about HRT. However, women of lowest socioeconomic status and those who did not have a primary care physician were least likely to have received counseling. No differences were observed in prevalence of counseling between women in managed care settings and those with other types of health insurance. The findings suggest that special efforts are necessary to provide menopause education and counseling to underserved women.

Authors: Ettinger B; Woods NF; Barrett-Connor E; Pressman A

Menopause. 2000 May-Jun;7(3):143-8.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top