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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994 Sep;42(9):919-22.

Estrogen replacement therapy and memory in older women.

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Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, California.



To study the relationship between estrogen hormone replacement therapy and recall of proper names and words in cognitively intact older women.


A case-control study using subjects matched on age and education.


From a group of 278 older (age range 55 to 93 years) community-dwelling women volunteers for memory research, 72 older women taking estrogen replacement therapy were matched on age and education with a group of 72 women not taking estrogen.


Dependent measures were performances on: a proper name recall test and a word recall test.


Proper name recall was significantly better in those receiving estrogen (mean = 4.3; SD = 3.3) than in those not receiving estrogen (mean = 3.1; SD = 2.5), P = 0.01. There was also significantly greater variance in the name recall scores of the group taking estrogen than in the group not taking estrogen. For word recall, there was no significant difference between those subjects taking estrogen (mean = 6.4; SD 3.8) and those not taking estrogen (mean = 5.8; SD 3.7), P > 0.10.


Estrogen use was associated with enhanced recall of proper names. Previous failures to find differences associated with estrogen use may reflect the memory measures used or an increased inter-individual variability of the estrogen-taking group, as was observed in the present study. Interpretation of these results should be tempered by their retrospective nature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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