A study has shown that women on HRT may be more susceptible to dementia.
Danish researchers claim that menopause medications can cause deadly cancer even if they are used in short doses.
But scientists cannot prove the medicine causes brain damage — women with symptoms bad enough to need it may already be at higher risk.
Between 2000 and 2018, the researchers studied more than 60 000 women in Denmark aged above 60.
Dr Pourhadi, of Copenhagen University Hospital, said: “Menopausal hormone therapy was positively associated with development of dementia.
“This was the case even in women who received treatment at the age of 55 years or younger.”
The number of dementia sufferers in the UK is expected to reach more than 1 million by 2025.
Memory-robbing conditions affect women more than men.
Around 15% of English women between 45 and 64 years old are being prescribed HRT in order to combat symptoms related to menopause.
Recent research shows that HRT used long term is related to an increased risk of dementia.
This latest research, which was published in The BMJThe study also examined how the use of the drugs in the short term could impact the risk of developing disease.
Over the course of 18 years, dementia was diagnosed in more than 5500 women who were included in this study.
The risk was increased by over 2 times in certain cases for those who had been on HRT longer than 12 years.
When HRT is prescribed for less than a year, the percentage drops to just 21 percent.
They said that despite this strong link, they couldn’t prove HRT caused the connection.
Experts said that the study failed to consider factors which could cause someone both to need drugs as well as be at greater risk for dementia.
Dr Susan Kohlhaas, of Alzheimer’s Research UK. said: “The study did not consider other factors known to be involved, such as social isolation, smoking or dietary factors like alcohol.
“Women need to understand the implications of deciding to take HRT in terms of benefits and risks.
“At the moment, as far as dementia is concerned, we’ll need to wait for more research to give clearer answers.
“In the meantime, people should speak to a qualified healthcare professional if they would like to know more about the known benefits and risks of taking HRT.”