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Women in ethnic minorities may be missing benefits of HRT

Ethnic differences in use of hormone replacement therapy: community based survey

Women of south Asian origin living in the UK are at increased risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis and yet they are less likely than white women to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), despite it being widely promoted as preventing these conditions, report a team from St George's Hospital Medical School in this week's BMJ.

Dr Tess Harris et al studied 882 white, African and South Asian women aged 40-59 living in south London. White women were more than twice as likely to be HRT users compared to South Asian women (25% versus 10%) whereas women of Caribbean or West African descent were intermediate in their use of HRT (15%) say the authors. The differences in HRT use between ethnic groups were not explained by differences in other factors influencing HRT use including age and hysterectomy rates, they say.

Harris et al claim that their findings are potentially important because of the possible long term protective effects on heart and bone, which may particularly benefit South Asian women with their raised risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis. They conclude that opportunities for health promotion amongst women from ethnic minorities may be being missed and that further work to explore the reasons for the differences is needed.

Contact:

Professor Derek Cook, Department of Public Health Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, London Email: d.cook@sghms.ac.uk


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Contact: Jill Shepherd
jshepherd@bma.org.uk
44-171-383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
3-Sep-1999


Page: 1

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