The objective was to assess the impact of different levels of risk of disease on a woman's preferences for health states. Women were provided with health scenarios incorporating different levels of lifetime risks for breast cancer, hip fracture, and coronary heart disease (CHD). In this way, we were able to determine the incremental effect of changes in risks of each disease on preference values.
Preference values and utility scores were obtained for six health scenarios by both the feeling thermometer (FT) and standard gamble (SG) methods. Scenarios presented the different lifetime risks of CHD, breast cancer, and hip fracture associated with and not associated with long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and raloxifene. Risks of breast cancer were based on perceived risks and population risks. The sample population consisted of 40 healthy female volunteers aged between 45 and 65 years randomly selected from the Ottawa-Carleton district.
Based on their perceived risk of breast cancer, the women had higher value scores for the raloxifene risk profile than for both HRT (p = .002) and no therapy (p = .003), with similar results for analyses based on population risks and from utility scores. Regression analysis showed that the risk of breast cancer (p