Does Hormone Replacement Therapy cause dementia? Let’s talk about it.
There’s been some hype in the media lately that hormone replacement therapy can contribute to dementia. Let’s look at what the study really shows and whether it should affect our decision to use BHRT.
First of all the study looked at two groups who took combined hormone therapy for about the same length of time with the dementia group taking HRT for 3.8 years and the control group taking HRT 3.6 years. The researchers did not control in either group for women who might have had a family history of dementia.
What they found was:
- There was no increased risk of dementia among women taking only progestin.
- There was no risk of dementia in women taking only estrogen.
- There was a small and statistically significant increase of combined menopausal hormone therapy among those with dementia – 31.9% of the dementia patients 31.9% had taken estrogen and progestin while in the those women who hadn’t developed dementia only 28.9% took the combined menopausal hormone therapy.
Now remember, when we’re talking about combined menopausal hormone therapy using synthetic progestin, not progesterone, and pharmaceutical estrogen.
These are not the same as bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, which we know are both neuroprotective and neuro-regenerative.
The new findings conflict with a 2005 study by Danish researchers who found that women who were given menopausal hormone replacement therapy for two to three years had a 64% decrease risk for cognitive impairment five to 15 years later compared to women who had only been taking placebos instead of hormones.
There’s no reason to be concerned about menopausal hormone therapy causing dementia.
If you have a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s, then doing some genetic counseling and talking with your health care provider about your particular issues, before making the decision to use hormone replacement therapy would be a great idea.
If you’re currently taking menopausal hormone replacement therapy, particularly bioidentical estradiol, estriol and progesterone, there’s no research that shows that any of these combinations of hormones will increase the risk of dementia in menopausal women.
In fact, it has been shown that utilizing these hormones during menopause can decrease the risk of dementia. In my book Menopause Action Plan™, I discuss the current research and recommendations regarding HRT for women with different risk factors.
If you have any more questions, please join me in the Hormone Reboot Training.