Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if the recent rapid fall in use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in Australia has been followed by a reduction in breast cancer incidence among women aged 50 years or older, but not among younger women. DESIGN AND SETTING: Analysis of trends in annual prescribing of HRT, using Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data, and in annual age-standardised breast cancer incidence rates in Australian women for the period 1996-2003. RESULTS: In Australia, prescribing of HRT increased from 1996 to 2001, but dropped by 40% from 2001 to 2003. Age-standardised breast cancer incidence rates in women aged > or = 50 years also increased to 2001 but declined thereafter. The incidence rates in this age group were lower by 6.7% (95% CI, 3.9%-9.3%; P < 0.001) in 2003 compared with 2001, equivalent to 600 (95% CI, 350-830) fewer breast cancers (out of about 9000 incident breast cancers annually for women this age). There was no significant change in breast cancer incidence for women aged < 50 years. CONCLUSIONS: While other factors may have contributed to a recent reduction in breast cancer incidence among Australian women aged > or = 50 years, the available evidence suggests that much of the decrease is due to the recent fall in use of HRT. This is consistent with other evidence that the HRT-associated increase in risk of breast cancer is reversible after ceasing use of HRT.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Med J Aust

Publication Date

02/06/2008

Volume

188

Pages

641 - 644

Keywords

Age Factors, Australia, Breast Neoplasms, Databases, Factual, Drug Prescriptions, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Female, Humans, Incidence, Middle Aged, Risk Factors