Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered a reliable way to not only make it easier to get through menopause, but also to delay it. Pills with estrogen and progesterone allow you to receive sex hormones from the outside, which the ovaries can no longer produce in the required amount. HRT relieves unpleasant menopausal symptoms – hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings – after a few weeks of use and helps prevent the negative effects of menopause on the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.
In their publication, scientists at the University of Nottingham mentioned that previous studies of the link between HRT and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease have yielded conflicting results. This leads to the fact that some women are afraid to start treatment.
To confirm and disprove this theory, the scientists analyzed the medical records of 118,000 British women aged 55 and older who were diagnosed with dementia between 1998 and 2020. Data from 497 thousand women from the same age group, but without this disease, were included in the control group for comparison.
The results showed that in both groups the overall risk of dementia was the same: 14%. But at the same time, scientists have found that the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease is slightly increased in women who take estrogen and progestogen therapy for five to nine years or longer. But this risk is so small that it cannot be the reason for drug withdrawal – 5 and 7 additional cases of dementia per 10 thousand women, respectively.
“The probability is very small and we cannot say that it is caused by hormone replacement therapy. This should not be alarming for patients taking these drugs, ”said Yana Vinogradova, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham’s Primary Health Care Unit, co-author of the study.