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Relation between cigarette smoking and use of hormonal replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms.
  1. G Greenberg,
  2. S G Thompson,
  3. T W Meade
  1. MRC Epidemiology and Medical Care Unit, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow.


    The aim of this study was to characterise new users of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for the relief of menopausal symptoms and to compare these women with never-users of HRT; 402 new users and 804 never-users were studied. Hot flushes were the most common symptom in both users and non-users and were the most frequent reason for prescribing HRT. The prevalence of menopausal symptoms in non-users of HRT was high although substantially lower than that in users. HRT users were more likely to be current cigarette smokers than were never-users. There was also, within smokers, a significant relation between the number of cigarettes smoked and the likelihood of using HRT. This relation between HRT use and smoking could result from an anti-oestrogen effect of smoking, intensifying menopausal symptoms. Of potential clinical relevance is the suggestion that a proportion of women using HRT may be doing so in order to alleviate smoking-induced symptoms. Users of HRT were also more likely to have used oral contraceptives than were never-users; this relation was probably behavioural.

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