World News – GB – HRT prescriptions fall in poorest areas of England: new study


Prescription rates for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are lower in poorer parts of England than in better-off areas, according to a new study from The University of Warwick found

Researchers at Warwick Medical School found that the overall HRT prescription rate was 29% lower in GP practices in the most socio-economically disadvantaged fifth compared to the least disadvantaged fifth

They published the results of an analysis of HRT prescription rates and socioeconomic status in England in the British Journal of General Practice today (September 29), which highlights the inequalities associated with prescribing of HRT and suggests that there is a great unmet need for menopausal care in areas of greatest deprivation

HRT is prescribed for the treatment of symptoms of menopause or perimenopause, and according to the NHS The UK can relieve many symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, swelling. mood, vaginal dryness and reduced libido Many women find that their work and home life are negatively affected during menopause and see their GP during this time

Previous research has raised concerns that women from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to receive HRT treatment and its benefits, although recent evidence to support this is insufficient

To study this, the researchers used prescription data from NHS Digital’s UK GP practices for the year 2018 and compared it to practice-level Multiple Deprivation Index scores. The multiple deprivation index is an aggregate measure of the deprivation experienced by people living in a certain area and takes into account seven dimensions: income deprivation; deprivation of employment; deprivation of health and disability; education; deprivation of skills and training; barriers to housing and services; and deprivation of the living environment and criminality

The overall rate of HRT prescriptions per 1,000 women, aged 40 or older, was 29% lower in the most disadvantaged versus least disadvantaged practices After adjusting for all cardiovascular disease outcomes and risk factors, the prescribing rate in the most disadvantaged quintile was still 18% lower than that in the least disadvantaged quintile.In addition, they found that there was a significantly higher tendency to prescribe oral HRT (administered by oral) than transdermal preparations (administered through the skin) in more disadvantaged practices

Lead author Dr Sarah Hillman of Warwick Medical School said: ‘Our research has shown that women living in disadvantaged areas are less likely to be prescribed HRT and are prescribed relatively more Oral HRT and less transdermal, although transdermal has less risk of side effects

« The data could not tell us why this was the case, only that there was a difference This will be investigated in the next stage of the research However, it is likely that both clinician and patient factors are involved

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« Access to menopause care is extremely important HRT is a drug that can dramatically improve symptoms of menopause If women want to consider HRT, they should contact their GP »

Hormone replacement therapy, menopause, general practitioner

News from the world – GB – Reduction of HRT prescriptions in the most disadvantaged areas of England: new study


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