Women Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy at Twice the Risk of Dementia
New study raises even more fears over hormone replacement therapy effects
Women had been prescribed hormone replacement therapy, an estrogen-progesterone combination by their doctors for years to help memory and mental ability in older women. Doctors had been encouraging women that had not undergone a hysterectomy to begin hormone replacement therapy when reaching menopause, so it was not surprising that in the U.S. alone there were 15 million women using the estrogen-progestin combination.
Then a 2002 study was released showing that millions of women were instead at an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. This popular combination was first introduced forty years ago and had become such a regular part of entering menopause for women that many people were left wondering how the findings were not released earlier. At the time it was the first, and only, large trial comparing hormone replacement therapy effects with placebos in healthy women.
Now, a new study has been released, appearing in the May 28, 2003 Journal of the American Medical Association showing women who take the hormone therapy in charlotte nc. The hormone replacement therapy study included 4,532 women ages 65 and older that were randomly assigned to take Wyeth Pharmaceutical‘s hormone replacement therapy or was given a placebo for more than four years.
A 15-minute test of memory, judgment, concentration, and ability to follow simple directions and copy a simple design were given periodically. What the study found was probable dementia diagnosed in 61 women, most of which were considered to be Alzheimer’s disease. Forty of these instances were in women given the Prempro, opposed to just 21 of the placebo-taking women.
It is still unclear what the study’s findings mean for younger women using hormone replacement therapy, as well as for a shorter duration. Women were not alone in the shock that the new study has caused, experts and professionals alike found the hormone replacement therapy study to result in feelings of disbelief. Long believed to provide benefits quite opposite of the recent findings, many experts now believe the use of any hormones at all is too great of a risk.