This study describes estrogen use among 45- to 55-year-old white women in Massachusetts from 1981 to 1987. In a 1981 cross-sectional survey, 7705 white women (77 percent response rate) returned a questionnaire or were interviewed by phone. Premenopausal women were invited into a 4.5-year follow-up study including telephone interviews every nine months, and 2236 (approximately 91 percent of the eligible women) had a complete follow-up. In the cross-sectional survey, 7.9 percent had used oral estrogens in the last two weeks, but most (77 percent) had had a hysterectomy; use varied notably from one area to another. Vaginal estrogens were used by 2.9 percent. Users and nonusers of oral estrogens were quite similar in regard to sociodemographic background. Data from the follow-up surveys showed that estrogen use increased throughout the study period and by the final follow-up women with higher education status reported more estrogen use than those with lower education status. Most women used estrogens only for a short time. © 1991, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.