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May 16, 1980

Postmenopausal Hormone Users and Obesity

JAMA. 1980;243(19):1896. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300450012007

To the Editor.—  Barrett-Connor et al (241:2167, 1979) found that postmenopausal women taking estrogens (hormone users) were substantially slimmer than nonusers. The percentage of obese subjects in nonusers was about two times higher. The authors took the presence of obesity as a manifestation of health consciousness, but this finding was not discussed. Between the users and the nonusers, there was no difference in cigarette smoking. One would expect that health-conscious people would smoke less, and, therefore, it does not seem that the lower prevalence of obesity in hormone users could be due to a greater health consciousness.Subjects who have had hysterectomies are probably more frequently hormone users. It would be interesting to know if the subjects studied by Barrett-Connor et al who had undergone hysterectomies were thinner than those who had not.In a study of 237 nuns aged 60 to 80 years, we found no difference between the