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 Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>