Suicidal ideation among postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy: The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V) from 2010 to 2012

Ji Yoon Lee, Yong Kyu Park, Kyung-Hwan Cho, Seon Mee Kim, Youn Seon Choi, Do-Hoon Kim, Ga Eun Nam, Kyung Do Han, Yang-Hyun Kim

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background Suicide is a major public health problem around the world. Some studies have found that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated with depression in postmenopausal women. Depression is a well-known risk factor for suicide; therefore, we investigated the relationship between HRT and suicidal ideation in postmenopausal Korean women. Methods We included 2286 postmenopausal women with or without HRT from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2012. The use and duration of HRT and mental health status, including stress, depressive mood, and suicidal ideation and attempts, were assessed by self-report questionnaires. Results The proportion of participants with depressive mood and suicidal ideation was higher in the HRT group than the non-HRT group (all p values<0.05). As the duration of HRT increased, the percentage of participants with suicidal ideation increased (p for trend=0.006). After adjusting for all covariates, the odds ratio (95% confidence intervals) for suicidal ideation was 1.742 (1.223-2.482) in the women with HRT, compared to women without HRT. HRT duration longer than 10 years was associated with suicidal ideation (odds ratio=2.089 and 95% confidence intervals=1.069-4.084). Limitations The cross-sectional design, a possibility of incorrect answer about menopausal status, and no assessment of the type of HRT are the main limitations of this study. Conclusion Postmenopausal women receiving HRT, especially for more than 10 years, showed increased suicidal ideation compared with postmenopausal women without HRT. Physicians should pay attention to mood symptoms and suicidal ideation in postmenopausal women with HRT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1



  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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