There has been a long debate about the role that HRT may play in the prevention of dementia in later life, this is because it is felt that oestrogen may be key to it’s development in women. Researchers who studied 1,489 women have now found that some who had one or both ovaries removed before menopause may be at increased risk for dementia. They compared the women with another group of 1,472 who had their ovaries retained and studied both groups for between 25 and 30 years.
What they found was that the younger a woman was when she had the surgery, the greater the risk of a neurological and mental disorder such as dementia and this risk was calculated at about 67% higher than those who had their ovaries retained.
However, and this is where the debate about HRT is once again being fueled, those women who were prescribed oestrogen replacement until around the age of 50 (the average age of a natural menopause) experienced no increased risk.
It would be wise to acknowledge though that all such studies do not take place in isolation, everybody is impacted and affected by other factors outside of those directly related to the study taking place and factors such as environment, general health, social isolation (or otherwise), cultural impacts and other elements must all be taken into account as all have similarly been shown to affect the rate of risk of dementia in later life.