Average household exposure to newspaper coverage about the harmful effects of hormone therapy and population-based declines in hormone therapy use

Jennifer S. Haas, Diana L. Miglioretti, Berta Geller, Diana S.M. Buist, David E. Nelson, Karla Kerlikowske, Patricia A. Carney, Sarah Dash, Erica S. Breslau, Rachel Ballard-Barbash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: 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). OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between the potential exposure to newspaper coverage and subsequent hormone therapy (HT) use. DESIGN/POPULATION: Population-based cohort of women receiving mammography at 7 sites (327,144 postmenopausal women). MEASUREMENTS: 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. RESULTS: 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). CONCLUSIONS: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Health behavior
  • Hormone therapy
  • Mammography
  • Newspaper coverage
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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    Haas, J. S., Miglioretti, D. L., Geller, B., Buist, D. S. M., Nelson, D. E., Kerlikowske, K., Carney, P. A., Dash, S., Breslau, E. S., & Ballard-Barbash, R. (2007). 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, 22(1), 68-73. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-007-0122-7