The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AAIC 2018.

CHICAGO — Postmenopausal women who undergo hormone replacement therapy have a lower risk for dementia than those who do not – an effect that was optimized with 2 to 5 years of therapy. Subgroup analysis revealed similar results for both vascular dementia and Alzheimer disease. This research was presented at the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 22-26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

The study included data from 4,485,775 women between the ages of 40 and 84 in the Republic of Korea. Participants underwent both breast cancer screening and national health screening. Self-reporting was used to gather medical information regarding status of hormone therapy, gynecological history, and obstetric history. Multivariable logistic regression models and cross-sectional analysis were used to assess data.

Analysis revealed that postmenopausal women who underwent hormone replacement therapy were as much as 19% less likely to experience dementia than those who did not. Individuals who underwent 2 to 5 years of hormone replacement therapy experienced the greatest risk reduction (odds ratio [OR] 0.818; 95% CI, 0.79-0.85), followed by individuals who underwent less than 2 years (OR 0.861; 95% CI, 0.84-0.88), and lastly by individuals who underwent over 5 years (OR 0.881; 95% CI, 0.79-0.85). Similar effects were observed for vascular dementia and Alzheimer disease. These data were adjusted for parity, breastfeeding, smoking status, exercise practices, diabetes, levels of lipids, age, use of oral contraception, alcohol consumption, body mass index, and hypertension.

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The researchers concluded that “the use of postmenopausal [hormone replacement therapy] for less than 5 years greatly reduced the risk of dementia in the general population of Korean women.”

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Koo Y, Han K, Baek M, et al. Hormone replacement therapy and risk of dementia in postmenopausal women: A nationwide cohort study. Presented at:  2018 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. July 22-26, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 24221.