Press Release
Racial Differences in Estrogen Use

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Women's Health Issues Publishes Grant Funded Report

February 27, 1998, Washington, DC - The January/February 1998 issue (v.8:1) of Women's Health Issues will publish findings from the second annual Jacobs Institute of Women's Health & Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Scholar Award. Barbara A. Bartman, MD, MPH, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore was chosen in 1996 for the $30,000 award to explore racial differences in the use of estrogen therapy among middle aged and older women. Ernest Moy, MD, MPH, of the Association of American Medical Colleges, is her co-author.

Bartman and Moy studied estrogen use, duration of use, and the frequency with which physicians prescribe estrogen replacement therapy for African-American and Caucasian women. Because there is no national survey of estrogen use, data from other national studies were used, including the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES), the 1987 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 1980, 1985 and the 1990-1995 National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (NAMCS).

They found that the proportion of African-American women reporting receipt of an estrogen prescription in a single year was significantly lower than the proportion of Caucasian women receiving estrogen. The proportion of white women reporting previous use of estrogen was significantly higher compared with the proportion of black women reporting previous use.

Duration of estrogen use was found to be similar among white and black women. Rates of office-based prescribing of estrogen increased for both white and nonwhite women, however, rates of prescribing estrogen for nonwhite women did not appear to have increased at rates comparable to those found in white women.

Estrogen replacement in postmenopausal women is believed to reduce morbidity and mortality from a variety of conditions. In one of the few studies prior to this one that examined race as a factor associated with current estrogen use, black women were half as likely as white women to take hormone replacement therapy. 

The Jacobs Institute of Women's Health is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge, practice, and understanding of women's health care. Women's Health Issues, edited by Warren H. Pearse, MD, FACOG, is the official, bimonthly publication of the Jacobs Institute. Copies of the January/February 1998 issue (v.8:1) are available from the Jacobs Institute for $21.50 each, plus $3.50 shipping and handling.

Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, is a leader in women's health care. The company makes and markets prescription products in several therapeutic categories, including womens health, central nervous system, infectious diseases, pain management, and wound healing.

Finding ways to improve the delivery of health care services to women is the focus of the annual Jacobs Institute & Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Scholar award. Research that considers the changing health care environment, the unmet need for primary and preventive health services, the historic lack of research on women's health, and the importance of social, cultural, legal, economic, and behavioral factors influencing the financing and delivery of health care to women is eligible. The application deadline for the 1999 award is October 15, 1998.

For more information on the grant or to order a copy of the January/February 1998 issue, please contact the Jacobs Institute at (202) 863-4990, (202) 488-4229 Fax, 409 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024-2188.

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For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Shannon R. Mouton
The Jacobs Institute
(202) 863-4989