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CSM inquiry on HRT-dementia link

The Government's drug safety watchdog is to scrutinise new research that suggests HRT doubles the risk of dementia in elderly women.

New data from the US Women's Health Initiative study on the risks and benefits of long-term HRT use 'unexpectedly' showed a doubled risk of dementia in the over-65s.

The results from the study of 16,000 post-menopausal women aged 50-79 suggest for every 500 women taking HRT for a year, one would develop dementia as a result. The additional risk was only statistically significant in women over 75.

An expert group of the Committee on Safety of Medicines is reviewing the data, which appeared last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The group has yet to finalise its conclusions but a spokesman said: 'The women included in the study were much older than those who typically use HRT in the UK. Furthermore, this data relates to one particular product that is not available in the UK.'

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