Average Household Exposure to Newspaper Coverage about the Harmful Effects of Hormone Therapy and Population-Based Declines in Hormone Therapy Use
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The news media facilitated the rapid dissemination of the findings from the estrogen plus progestin therapy arm of the Women’s Health Initiative (EPT-WHI).
To examine the relationship between the potential exposure to newspaper coverage and subsequent hormone therapy (HT) use.
Population-based cohort of women receiving mammography at 7 sites (327,144 postmenopausal women).
The outcome was the monthly prevalence of self-reported HT use. Circulation data for local, regional, and national newspapers was used to create zip-code level measures of the estimated average household exposure to newspaper coverage that reported the harmful effects of HT in July 2002.
Women had an average potential household exposure of 1.4 articles. There was substantial variation in the level of average household exposure to newspaper coverage; women from rural sites received less than women from urban sites. Use of HT declined for all average potential exposure groups after the publication of the EPT-WHI. HT prevalence among women who lived in areas where there was an average household exposure of at least 3 articles declined significantly more (45 to 27%) compared to women who lived in areas with <1 article (43 to 31%) during each of the subsequent 5 months (relative risks 0.86–0.92; p < .006 for all).
Greater average household exposure to newspaper coverage about the harms associated with HT was associated with a large population-based decline in HT use. Further studies should examine whether media coverage directly influences the health behavior of individual women.
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- Average Household Exposure to Newspaper Coverage about the Harmful Effects of Hormone Therapy and Population-Based Declines in Hormone Therapy Use
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 22, Issue 1 , pp 68-73
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- newspaper coverage
- hormone therapy
- health behavior
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 1620 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02120-1613, USA
- 2. Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, WA, USA
- 3. Office of Health Promotion Research, Departments of Family Medicine and Radiology, Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
- 4. Health Communications Branch, Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
- 5. Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
- 6. General Internal Medicine Section, Department of Veterans Affairs, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
- 7. Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA
- 8. Department of Community & Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA
- 9. Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA
- 10. Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA