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Risk for Dementia Not Increased With Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Risk for dementia decreased for cases and controls younger than 80 years who had been taking estrogen-only therapy for 10 years or more

THURSDAY, Sept. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The risk for developing dementia seems not to be increased in association with menopausal hormone therapy, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in The BMJ.

Yana Vinogradova, from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted two nested case-control studies to examine the risks for developing dementia associated with different types and durations of menopausal hormone therapy. Data were included for 118,501 women aged 55 years and older with a primary diagnosis of dementia, matched to 497,416 female controls.

The researchers found that 14 percent of women with a diagnosis of dementia and 14 percent of controls had used menopausal hormone therapy more than three years prior to the index date. The risks for developing dementia associated with menopausal hormone therapy were not increased overall. Cases and controls younger than 80 years who had been taking estrogen-only therapy for 10 years or more had a decreased global risk for dementia (adjusted odds ratio, 0.85). Women who had used estrogen-progestogen therapy for five to nine years and 10 or more years had increased risks for developing Alzheimer disease (odds ratio, 1.11 and 1.19, respectively). This was equivalent to five and seven extra cases per 10,000 woman years, respectively.

“We are happy to be able to report findings that will reassure women needing menopausal hormone therapy and facilitate conversations between doctors and patients about the safest treatments,” Vinogradova said in a statement. “We hope they will also be useful to other health professionals and policy makers.”

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