HRT linked to Alzheimer's
Women who take oral hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be increasing their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, reports a recent Finnish study published in the British Medical Journal.
According to the results, use of oral hormone therapy was associated with a nine to 17 per cent increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers have stressed that the absolute risk is small – nine to 18 extra cases per 10,000 women per year – and the age at which hormone replacement therapy is started has no bearing on future risk.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College
of GPs, urged women on HRT not to be alarmed by the new study. She said: “HRT can be of greatest benefit to many women who are suffering from some of the unpleasant side effects of the menopause and there is a large body of evidence that shows it is an effective and safe treatment for most women.
“However, as with any medication there are risks and it’s important that women are aware of them so that they can make an informed decision, with their doctor, before starting treatment”.