Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ultra low-dose estrogen shown safe for post-menopausal women

17.07.2006
Estradiol delivered via skin patch over two years has no harmful effect on cognitive abilities or health-related quality of life

A study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center has shown that extremely low doses of estrogen had no ill effects on the cognitive abilities or general health of older women over the course of two years. "This is exciting. It shows that women can take estrogen safely," observes lead author Kristine Yaffe, MD, chief of geriatric psychiatry at SFVAMC and associate professor of psychiatry, neurology, and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

In 2004, study results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a nationwide longitudinal study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, indicated that estrogen was associated with an increased risk of dementia among women 65 and older, as well as with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

"Those results raised a lot of doubts about whether women should be taking estrogen at all," Yaffe notes.

The current study, published in the July 2006 issue of Archives of Neurology, looked specifically at the potential effects of estrogen on cognitive abilities and quality of life. A group of 417 post-menopausal women aged 60 to 80 were randomly assigned to receive a daily .014 milligram dose of either estradiol, a form of estrogen, or a placebo through a skin patch for two years. The women were given a battery of standardized cognitive tests and a test of health-related quality of life at the beginning of the study, after one year, and after two years.

At the end of the study, there was no difference between the two groups in either cognitive abilities or health-related quality of life.

"The results are very reassuring, because it suggests that women can use this patch without harm for two years," says Yaffe. "It would benefit their bones and might have a beneficial effect in terms of hot flashes."

A related study of the same group of women showed a significant increase in bone density, without adverse health effects, in the women who took estradiol compared to the women who took placebo. The current study was a pre-planned secondary investigation.

Yaffe speculates that the differences in health and cognition outcomes between these two studies and the WHI studies could be related to three factors: dose, type of estrogen, and means of delivery.

The women in the WHI studies received .625 milligrams per day of conjugated estrogen – a mixture of estrogen from several different sources – in pill form. In contrast, the women studied by Yaffe and her associates received a daily dose of estradiol – pure human estrogen – that was over 44 times smaller and delivered through a skin patch.

"The different between a patch and a pill is significant because medications taken in pill form are processed through the liver before they reach the bloodstream," explains Yaffe. "It's thought that estrogen in pill form might stimulate the liver to produce substances that can lead to clotting or other adverse side effects. With a patch, you bypass the liver and go straight to the blood."

Yaffe notes that since the WHI results were announced in 2004, "the field of estrogen research has been stymied. Hopefully, this study will start to turn the tide."

Steve Tokar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncire.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Information integration and artificial intelligence for better diagnosis and therapy decisions

24.05.2017 | Information Technology

CRTD receives 1.56 Mill. Euro BMBF-funding for retinal disease research

24.05.2017 | Awards Funding

Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History

24.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>