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Wrong again. Early research suggested that estrogen (plus progestin) would prevent heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease. Last year, we learned that the hormone promotes heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. Now it appears that estrogen may also raise the risk of dementia.

In a study of more than 4,500 post-menopausal women aged 65 or older, those who took a popular estrogen-progestin mixture for an average of four years had a slightly greater decline in mental function than those who took a placebo.

What to do: Don't take estrogen-progestin to reduce your risk of disease.