Article ID: JE20200207
Background: There have been few community-based epidemiological studies in which the prevalence of exogenous hormone use, including the use of oral contraceptives (OCs) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), has been accurately assessed in Japan.
Methods: We have been conducting repeated surveys of participants in the Japan Nurses’ Health Study (JNHS), as a nationwide prospective cohort study, since 2001. We determined the prevalence of exogenous hormone use at baseline and during a 10-year follow-up period. A total of 15,019 female nurses participated in the JNHS follow-up cohort. We determined the prevalence of OC use in 14,839 women <60 years of age at baseline and the prevalence of HRT use in 7,915 women, excluding premenopausal women, at the last time they answered a questionnaire. The duration of HRT use was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Six percent of the participants used OCs. The proportion of HRT users who stopped HRT before the baseline survey, the proportion of women using HRT during the follow-up period, and the proportion of all of the participants who had used HRT were 3.2%, 10.6%, and 13.8%, respectively. The median duration of HRT use was 2 years.
Conclusions: The lifetime prevalences of exogenous hormone use during this prospective study conducted in Japanese nurses were 6.0% for OCs and 13.8% for HRT. The information obtained in this study will be useful for clarification of the association between exogenous estrogen exposure and estrogen-related diseases as future research.