The influence of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy on cognitive functioning: results from an observational study

King, Robert; Travers, Catherine; O'Neill, Sheila; Byrne, Gerard; Khoo, Soo Keat
September 2004
Journal of the British Menopause Society;2004, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p103
Academic Journal
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) upon memory deficit in a group of urban Australian women. Participants and setting: A cohort of 493 women aged 40-80 years was tested as part of the Longitudinal Study of Ageing in Women (LAW study) at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. Main outcome measures: The current memory functioning of participants was evaluated using the Wechsler Memory Scale – version three (WMS-III) while pre-morbid cognitive functioning was estimated from scores on the National Adult Reading Test (NART). Memory deficit was estimated by comparing NART scores with the age-corrected scale scores of the WMS-III. Results: Overall, NART scores correlated with WMS-III scores, consistent with the expected relationship between pre-morbid functioning and current functioning. For the sample as a whole, memory deficit was evident but mostly, age appropriate. There was considerable variation as to the extent of memory deficit within the sample. When memory functioning for women with a history of five or more years of combined oestrogen plus progestogen HRT or oestrogen replacement therapy (ERT) was compared with that of women who had never used HRT or ERT there was no evidence of any effect for either HRT or ERT on memory deficit. Conclusions: The use of HRT or ERT had neither a protective nor an adverse effect on memory deficit.


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