Hormone Therapy

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Study: Estrogen Therapy May Help Some Older Women at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Estrogen replacement patches. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Estrogen replacement patches. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Postmenopausal women have heard just about everything when it comes to hormone therapy. In the 1990s, doctors routinely recommended it, believing that it helped women avoid heart attacks, thinning bones and other problems of aging. Then along came the Women’s Health Initiative study, which first found hormone therapy (HT) created more risks than benefits — then found that over time some of those risks subsided, at least somewhat.

“It’s a very provocative finding, without a doubt.” 

But one main criticism of the Women’s Health Initiative study was that women were recruited to start on hormone therapy long after they had gone through menopause. The women were ages 65 or older.

Today, many doctors believe that HT started at the time of menopause — or soon after — can help women with hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other symptoms.

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