No Long-Term Cognitive Consequences in Hormone Therapy

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For postmenopausal women aged 50-55 years, conjugated equine estrogen-based hormone therapy has no long-term impact on cognition.

(HealthDay News) – For postmenopausal women aged 50–55 years, conjugated equine estrogen (CEE)-based hormone therapy has no long-term impact on cognition, according to research published online June 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Mark A. Espeland, PhD, from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, and colleagues examined whether prescribing CEE-based hormone therapy to postmenopausal 50- to 55-year-old women has a long-term impact on cognitive function using data from 1,326 women who had begun treatment in two randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials of hormone therapy. Participants underwent cognitive testing an average of 7.2 years after the trials ended, and testing was repeated one year later.

The researchers found that global cognitive function scores were similar for women assigned to CEE-based therapies and placebo (mean intervention effect, 0.02; P=0.66). There was no significant overall difference in any individual cognitive domain. There was some evidence of CEE-based therapies having an adverse effect on verbal fluency in women who had prior hysterectomy or previous use of hormone therapy, although this finding may have been due to chance.

“Our findings provide reassurance that CEE-based therapies when administered to women earlier in the postmenopausal period do not seem to convey long-term adverse consequences for cognitive function,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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