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Can Hormone Therapy or the Pill Prevent Brain Aneurysms?
Date:5/5/2011

h is flawed and its conclusions overstated.

Other research is more reliable, noted Sila, director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. "Doctors are well-versed in the better data," she said, adding that she hopes the study doesn't convince doctors to change how they prescribe birth control and hormone replacement drugs.

Another expert called the finding "interesting," but stressed that more study was needed.

"[This] deserves additional investigation in a larger group of women," said Dr. David J. Langer, director of cerebrovascular research at the Cushing Neuroscience Institutes, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y. "Undoubtedly, women maintain higher risk of cerebral aneurysms versus men and the connection to hormonal differences between men and women may be a contributing factor to this preference," he said.

"Whenever studies like this are published one must be cautious in drawing broad conclusions, but the results do support more research in this area," Langer added. "One question one could have would be what the incidence of high blood pressure and smoking was in this group of 60 women, and how did that compare with the larger control group?"

In a news release from the journal's publisher, the study authors stated that they believe their findings add to the understanding of how brain aneurysms develop and progress, and may spur new treatments for patients who either have an aneurysm or are at risk of developing one. Current methods of treatment include blood pressure control, quitting smoking, and possibly a surgical procedure to try to prevent future rupture.

More information

For more about aneurysms, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga


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