The EMAS officers have commented on the recent manuscript by Savolainen-Peltonen et al., published on the British Medical Journal in an open access editorial published in Maturitas. This Finnish registry study explored the association between the use of MHT in post-menopausal women and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The main finding was that women diagnosed as having AD were more frequently past or current users of MHT (18.6%, vs. 17% of those without AD). This finding extends to all types of MHT (with the exclusion of vaginal oestrogens) and all ages or ages of initiation of MHT. The authors, conclude that “use of postmenopausal systemic hormone therapy is accompanied with a 9-17% increase in the risk of [AD] in postmenopausal women” and that “hormone therapy users should be informed for a possible risk of the disease”.
EMAS does not agree with these concluding statements. EMAS questions the opportunity to present data derived from such registers as clinically relevant, without treating them as what they actually are, namely an epidemiological picture of a specific country. EMAS is concerned that registry studies are not over interpreted, in an era where social media and internet can uncontrollably spread questionable messages. Hippocrates’s “primum non nocere” does not apply only to harms derived by treatments, but also to harms derived by negating an effective and safe treatment to those in need of it, due to unsubstantiated claims. The history of MHT is paramount in this aspect and we should not let women suffer in silence due to misbeliefs.