Why treat the disorder when you can prevent its onset?
It is no secret that some menopausal women can undergo depression when going through such stage. So, US researchers have a possible solution: hormone replacement therapy treatments.
While previous research have already shown how it can treat these women, this new study focuses on preventing it instead. They looked into 172 women aged between 45 and 60, and without depression before menopause or in early menopause over six years.
With that, they found that a year of HRT treatment can indeed be of help in stopping symptoms of depression for these menopausal women. What's more is that when given a placebo treatment, women were twice as likely to develop the disorder.
“HRT reduced the proportion of women who experienced significant mood symptoms from about one in three to about one in six,” says Tony Cleare, of King’s College London, who was not involved in the study. “HRT is already recommended in the UK to treat symptoms of low mood during the menopause, so this research adds to the evidence by showing HRT can also prevent mood symptoms,” he says.
Dr Martin Blomberg-Jensen, of Harvard University seemed to be convinced with the results, saying, “This shows transdermal hormonal therapy lowers the proportion of postmenopausal women with symptoms."
Prof Tony Cleare, of King’s College London, however, warned, “Unfortunately this beneficial effect comes at the expense of worsened menstrual bleeding in those taking HRT. The decision to use HRT should always be based on a woman’s individual circumstances and preferences, weighing up the likely risks and benefits.”
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