Long-term use of oral hormone pills could be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in postmenopausal women, researchers have warned.
A Finnish study, which examined around 85,000 postmenopausal women who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, found that using oral hormone pills before the age of 60 for 10 or more years leads to a higher disease risk by 9 to 17 percent.
Women who used vaginal hormone therapy showed no increased risk.
“It prompted us to do research on Alzheimer’s disease to see if the same results persisted, but it doesn’t look like hormonal therapy provided a protective effect on Alzheimer’s,” said lead author Dr. Tomi Mikkola, supervisor for the obstetrics and gynecology doctoral program in clinical research at the University of Helsinki.
It is possible that the hormone therapy speeds up the progression of the disease, he added.