THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Women with prolonged exposure to endogenous hormones have a smaller burden of cerebral small vessel disease, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in Neurology.
Samantha Cote, from the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada, and colleagues examined the association between lifetime hormone exposure and cerebral small vessel disease among postmenopausal women (aged 40 to 69 years) from the U.K. Biobank. The analysis included 9,163 women (age, 64.21 ± 6.81 years).
The researchers found that the average endogenous lifetime hormone exposure (LHEEndo), estimated by summing the number of years pregnant (LHEparity) with the duration of the reproductive period (LHECycle = age menopause − age menarche) was 39.77 ± 3.59 years. Smaller white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV) was seen for women with higher LHEEndo. LHEparity and LHECycle contributed independently to WMHV. There was no association seen for exogenous lifetime hormone exposure, estimated by summing the number of years on oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, with WMHV.
“Our study highlights the critical role of reproductive history in shaping the female brain across the lifetime,” coauthor Kevin Whittingstall, Ph.D., also from the Université de Sherbrooke said in a statement. “These results emphasize the need to integrate reproductive history into managing brain health in postmenopausal women. Future research should investigate ways to develop better hormonal therapies.”
One author disclosed ties to Imeka.
Copyright © 2023 HealthDay. All rights reserved.