Does hormone replacement therapy increase the chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease?

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The latest research indicates that women who take hormone replacement therapy are at a slightly increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. It's important to note that this does not constitute a cause and effect relationship but rather indicates an association between those women who take hormone replacement therapies and the incidence of Alzheimer's.

The risk seems to be tied to women to take the drugs for a decade or longer, reassuring many women who choose this therapy early in menopause and for a short duration of time. Therefore, some are calling for women to be warned that taking the drugs for a decade or longer may come with a price—a disease which can rob one's memory.

Taking hormone replacement drugs results in an approximately nine to seventeen percent higher chance of developing Alzheimer's later in life. Almost all of the women who were followed in the study were diagnosed after age 60 and most were diagnosed after 80.

It's important to consider the risks of any new therapy with a doctor in order to make the most informed decision. Managing the symptoms of early menopause with drugs designed to alleviate much of this discomfort is still a valid option for many women. But like taking any drug, the risks, personal history, and family history should be carefully considered with a personal health care provider in order to ensure the patient's best possible health outcome.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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