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A recent study published in the BMJ found that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is associated with an increased risk of dementia. The study in Denmark looked at data from over 55,000 women who were followed for an average of 18 years.

The researchers found that women who used MHT were more likely to develop dementia than women who did not use MHT. The risk of dementia was highest among women who used MHT for more than 12 years.

The study also found that the type of MHT used made a difference. Women who used oestrogen-progestin therapy were more likely to develop dementia than women who used oestrogen-only therapy.

The researchers say that their findings suggest that MHT may increase the risk of dementia. However, they also say that more research is needed to confirm these findings and to understand the underlying mechanisms.

What does this mean for women?

The findings of this study are essential for women considering using MHT. If you are considering using MHT, you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

It is important to note that this study only looked at the association between MHT and dementia. It did not prove that MHT causes dementia. More research is needed to understand the relationship between MHT and dementia.

What else should I know?

Other factors can increase the risk of dementia, including age, family history, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity. If you are concerned about your risk of dementia, talk to your doctor.

Conclusion

The findings of this study suggest that MHT may increase the risk of dementia. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to understand the underlying mechanisms. If you are considering using MHT, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-072770 (Published 28 June 2023)
Cite this as BMJ 2023;381:e072770

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