Little is known about how hypomethylating agents (HMAs) have been adopted into the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We conducted a population-based study to assess the use of HMAs among 4416 MDS patients (age ≥66 years) who were diagnosed during 2001-2005 and followed up through the end of 2007. Multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to evaluate the role of various patient characteristics. 475 (10.8%) patients had received HMAs by 2007, with the proportion increasing over time. Patients who were white (odds ratio (OR)=0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.46-0.95), male (OR=1.47, 95% CI: 1.19-1.82), young (P(trend)<0.01), more recently diagnosed (OR=1.90, 95% CI: 1.54-2.34), had fewer comorbidities (P(trend)<0.01), or had a history of other cancer (OR=1.28, 95% CI: 1.00-1.63) were more likely to receive HMAs. Compared with patients with refractory anemia, those diagnosed with refractory anemia with excess blasts or refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia had a higher chance to be treated with HMAs (OR=3.52 and 2.32, respectively). Relatively few MDS patients were treated with HMAs during the introduction period of these agents, and multiple patient characteristics such as sex, comorbidities, and MDS subtype influence the likelihood a patient receives HMAs.