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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Nov;50(11):1826-30.

Mood symptoms and cognitive performance in women estrogen users and nonusers and men.

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Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.



Previous studies have suggested sex differences in mood and cognition and that estrogen effects may partially explain such differences. In this study, we explore sex differences for a range of mood symptoms and for neuropsychological performance in men and postmenopausal women and assess the potential influence of estrogen on these measures.


Cross-sectional study of men and women examining mood, neuropsychological test data, and estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) use.


Outpatient study at an urban teaching hospital with subjects recruited from the community.


All subjects (N = 96) were between the ages of 57 and 75 and included 31 women using ERT, 16 non-ERT users, and 49 men. Subjects did not have major depression and were nondemented.


The three groups were compared according to profile of mood states and neuropsychological performance, and statistical analyses were controlled for socioeconomic status, age, and education level.


Female ERT users were less depressed and less angry and performed better on measures of verbal fluency and working memory than the other subject groups.


Postmenopausal estrogen use is associated with better mood and cognitive performance on tasks of fluency and working memory. These results suggest that estrogen should be examined as a potentially critical variable influencing late-life sex differences in mood and cognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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