Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. Here’s what menopausal women need to know

Postmenopausal women who are taking hormone replacement therapy may have a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study. a big new study published on Wednesday IN British Medical Journal.

An increased risk was seen in both short-term users of menopause (55 years and younger), as well as in long-term users. The authors write that more research is needed to determine whether hormone replacement therapy is the cause, adding that women who need treatment may be more likely to develop dementia for other reasons. due to unknown.

Researchers examined the medical records of tens of thousands of Danish women aged between 50 and 60 years as of 2000, who had no history of dementia and no medical reason to do so. Do not use hormone replacement therapy. .

They found that women who had been treated with estrogen-progestin had a 24 percent increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – even those who started treatment at age 55 or younger.

Dementia rates were higher in women who had been treated for longer. The increased risk rate ranges from 21% for women who have used it for a year or less, to almost 75% for those who have used it for more than 12 years.

The researchers found the rates of increase were similar in women who treated daily and women who treated only 10 to 14 days a month. They note that the researchers found no association between progestin-only therapy or vaginal estrogen therapy and the development of dementia.

Should menopausal women stop hormone replacement therapy?

The numbers of the study are astounding. But its findings should not influence the decisions of patients and physicians, two US experts—a neurologist from Mayo Clinic and an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School—wrote in a corresponding editorial published with new research.

Previous studies have reported conflicting findings about the risks and benefits of hormone therapy, particularly with regard to cognitive function and dementia, they write.

A 1998 study Dr Stephanie Faubion, director of the Mayo Women’s Health Center and the North American Menopause Society, said there was no increased risk of dementia in women who started hormone therapy between the ages of 50 and 50. to 55. Luck.

Two additional studies did not find an increased risk of dementia in women who started hormone replacement therapy shortly after menopause, she adds.

Two-thirds of women report “subjective cognitive changes during the menopausal transition and possibly a temporary delay in information processing speed,” she said, perhaps contributing to the rate diagnosis of dementia in the study.

Furthermore, “it is not biologically plausible that hormone therapy used for less than a year induces dementia,” she added.

“A woman’s hormone therapy should not be altered based on these findings,” she said, suggesting that future studies will examine brain imaging to help pinpoint the effects of women’s hormones. hormone therapy, if available, in the early stages.


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