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New national studies show combined hormone replacement therapy boosts stroke, dementia

21 among the 2,303 who received an inactive substance known as a placebo.

In an accompanying commentary, Dr. Christine Yaffe of the University of California at San Francisco said more than a third of women and 20 percent of men aged 65 and older eventually will develop dementia. As the U.S. population ages, the number of people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia is expected to quadruple over the next 50 years at great cost to families and society.

Until discrepancies between earlier observational studies suggesting a benefit of estrogen on dementia and the new, more rigorous randomized trials suggesting harm are resolved, "the findings in this issue of JAMA underscore that hormone therapy should be prescribed only for temporary use to treat menopausal symptoms."


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Contact: David Williamson
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
27-May-2003


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