Endogenous sex hormones and cognitive function in older women

Alain K. Koyama, Shelley S. Tworoger, A. Heather Eliassen, Olivia I. Okereke, Marc G. Weisskopf, Bernard Rosner, Kristine Yaffe, Francine Grodstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: We examined the association between endogenous sex hormones and both objective and subjective measures of cognitive function. Methods: We followed 3044 women up to 23 years in a prospective cohort study. We measured plasma levels of estrone, estrone sulfate, estradiol, androstenedione, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) in 1989–1990, conducted neuropsychologic testing in 1999–2008, and inquired about subjective cognition in 2012. Results: Overall, we observed little relation between plasma levels of hormones and either neuropsychologic test performance or subjective cognition. However, after adjustment for age and education, we observed a borderline significant association of higher levels of plasma estrone with higher scores for both overall cognition (P trend = .10) and verbal memory (P trend = .08). Discussion: There were no clear associations of endogenous hormone levels at midlife and cognition in later life, although a suggested finding of higher levels of plasma estrone associated with better cognitive function merits further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-765
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • hormones
  • subjective cognitive complaints
  • cognition
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer's disease


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