Alzheimer’s risk reduced by HRT

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WOMEN who begin taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) within five years of the menopause may reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests.

Scientists monitored 1,768 women aged 65 and over for 11 years. During the study, 176 women developed Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that women who started using HRT within five years of the menopause had a 30 per cent lower risk of Alzheimer’s than those who had not used it.

The risk was unchanged among HRT users who began the treatment more than five years after the menopause. A higher risk of dementia was seen in women who started combined oestrogen and progestin therapy when they were at least 65 years old.