New study just adds to hormone replacement therapy debate

(CBS News) For the past decade, women who are post-menopausal have been getting conflicting information about hormone replacement therapy.

Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association is adding to the debate. The study of 1,326 women taking synthetic hormones over seven years found no risk to cognitive functions for women 50-55, and some cognitive decline for women 65 and older.

Dr. Sue Decotiis, a hormone replacement specialist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said the study used products that are old. She explained, "With this study, they were using conjugated equine estrogens, and what that means is they get that from the urine of a horse. ... They were started to be used in the 1940s, and I'm certainly no longer using them in my practice."

She said she's "not really" a fan of this study because they used something other than natural human estrogen known as beta estradiol. "They're not using the right product," she said. "It's sort of using the wrong key to get in your apartment. You're not going to get in. You're not going to get the right answers. We have to use the hormones that our body relates to."

Asked if she represents the majority or the minority opinion in the medical community, Decotiis said, "I think that the medical community, if they really look at these studies, they will probably agree, that if you look carefully, you can't lump all of these hormones together in one category. If you ask some of the people, 'Well, gee, why are you saying this?' They're saying, 'OK, well, yeah, there is a difference.' But I think we have to explain that to the people that you can't put all the hormones into one category because they're very different structurally."

For more on this study, watch Decotiis' full interview above.

  • Amanda Cochran

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