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Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jul;33(7):1129-37. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.10.007. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Postmenopausal hormone therapy, timing of initiation, APOE and cognitive decline.

Author information

  • 1Channing Lab, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. nhjhk@channing.harvard.edu

Abstract

Associations between postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) and cognitive decline may depend on apolipoprotein E (APOE) status or timing of initiation. We included 16,514 Nurses' Health Study participants aged 70-81 years who were followed since 1976 and completed up to 3 telephone cognitive assessments (2 years apart), between 1995 and 2006. The tests assessed general cognition (Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status; TICS), verbal memory, and category fluency. We used longitudinal analyses to estimate differences in cognitive decline across hormone groups. APOE genotype was available in 3697 participants. Compared with never users, past or current HT users showed modest but statistically significant worse rates of decline in the TICS: the multivariable-adjusted difference in annual rate of decline in the TICS among current estrogen only users versus never users was -0.04 (95% confidence interval, -0.07 to -0.004); for current estrogen + progestin users, the mean difference was -0.05 (95% confidence interval, -0.10 to -0.002). These differences were equivalent to those observed in women who are 1-2 years apart in age. We observed no protective associations with early timing of hormone initiation. We found suggestive interactions with APOE e4 status (e.g., on TICS, p interaction, 0.10), where the fastest rate of decline was observed among APOE e4 carriers who were current HT users. Regardless of timing of initiation, HT may be associated with worse rates of decline in general cognition, especially among those with an APOE e4 allele.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21122949
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3483632
Free PMC Article
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