Menopause drugs not linked to dementia, study finds

Dementia: Dr Sara on benefits of being in nature

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While some lab studies have suggested there might be a beneficial use for the drug to stem “age-related brain decline”, another study linked a certain type of hormone therapy to raised Alzheimer’s risk. Researchers from the universities of Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton compared more than 118,000 women over-55 who had dementia with almost half a million who did not.

In each of the groups, drawn from UK GP surgery data from 1998 and 2020, 14 percent used HRT for more than three years. No increased risks of developing dementia associated with the therapy were seen, the study published in BMJ said.

But women taking oestrogen-progestogen therapy for between five and nine years had an 11 percent increased risk and those taking it for more than a decade were deemed to have a 19 percent risk.

Taking oestrogen-only therapy was linked to a 15 percent decreased odds.

In a linked opinion piece, Professor Pauline Maki, from the University of Illinois, and Prof JoAnn Manson, from Harvard Medical School, said the study should provide “reassurance” for women prescribed the drug for menopausal symptoms.

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