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Menopausal Hormone Therapy Tied to Higher Dementia Risk

Menopausal hormone therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), encompasses various forms such as tablets containing either estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen and progestogen, as well as skin patches, gels, and creams. Dr. Ferraris pointed out that while most research studies include a control group for result comparison, there was no such comparison between women who used HRT and those who did not, specifically regarding neurological conditions. Estrogen, a steroid hormone, plays a vital role in the development and functioning of the female reproductive system. Menopausal Hormone Therapy Tied to Higher Dementia Risk.

In previous research, certain types of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were found to potentially increase the risk of severe diseases in women. A team of researchers from the Danish Dementia Research Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, and other Danish institutes conducted a study involving 5,589 women with dementia (cases) and 55,890 dementia-free women of similar age (controls) between 2000 and 2018. The study focused on Danish women aged 50-60 years in 2000, with no prior history of dementia or any underlying conditions that would hinder their use of menopausal hormone therapy.

Potential Connection Found: Hormone Therapy for Menopause and Heightened Risk of Dementia

Although most research studies include a control group for result comparison, Dr. Ferraris noted that in this case, there was no comparison between women who used HRT and those who did not in order to determine differences in neurological conditions. It is worth noting that this hormone possesses both neuroprotective and neuro-damaging properties. Synthetic estrogen is commonly used in hormone replacement therapy to manage symptoms related to menopause. Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital – Rigshospitalet have reported that menopausal hormone therapy is linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy Tied to Higher Dementia Risk

The average age at which dementia was diagnosed was 70 years. Prior to their diagnosis, 1,782 (32 percent) of the cases and 16,154 (29 percent) of the controls had received hormone therapy starting at an average age of 53 years. “Because this is an observational study, we cannot establish causality,” she stated. Studies investigating the impact of menopausal hormone therapy on dementia risk have produced conflicting results.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy Tied to Elevated Dementia Risk, Study Reveals

These findings contradict previous studies that suggested HRT might reduce the risk of developing dementia in women. The study revealed that the rates of dementia were higher with longer duration of HRT use, ranging from 21 percent for one year to 74 percent for more than 12 years of use. “To determine whether women who do not take HRT face an increased risk, a randomized control trial would be required.”

While some studies have shown a positive association between estrogen hormone therapy and the risk of dementia, others have found no such association. Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital – Rigshospitalet have now discovered an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease associated with menopausal hormone therapy. The researchers also acknowledged their inability to differentiate between the types of dementia developed or the different methods of administering hormone therapy, such as tablets or patches.

Study Uncovers Association Between Hormone Therapy for Menopause and Increased Dementia Risk

“They examined women who had been taking HRT between 2000 and 2018,” she explained to Moncrieff. “They established a connection between the use of HRT and dementia.” In this nationwide study, scientists explored the relationship between continuous and cycling estrogen-progestin therapy and the risk of dementia in Danish women aged 50-60. These findings contradict previous studies suggesting that HRT might reduce the risk of dementia in women.

Furthermore, the researchers could not rule out the possibility that women who underwent hormone therapy had a predisposition to both menopausal vasomotor symptoms (like hot flushes or night sweats) and dementia. While most research studies include a control group for result comparison, Dr. Ferraris noted the absence of a comparison between HRT users and non-users in order.

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