Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) and physical activity are both related to aging and health. U.S. minorities are more likely to be inactive and less likely to initiate HRT than are non-Hispanic White women. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship of race and HRT use with physical inactivity among older women (60+ years). The authors used data from 3,479 women who had participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), conducted in 1988-1994. NHANES III included an in-person interview and a medical examination. The prevalence of physical inactivity among women who reported ever having used HRT was 28.5% (CI 22.9–34.1%), compared with 40.0% (CI 35.9–44.1%) among those who had never used HRT. Mexican American and non-Hispanic Black women reported higher levels of inactivity than did non-Hispanic White women across HRT-use categories. To promote successful aging, physicians should educate postmenopausal women on the possible health benefits of HRT combined with an active lifestyle.
Andersen, Franckowiak, and Walston are with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Baltimore, MD 21224. Crespo is with the Dept. of Epidemiology, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214-3000.