Dr. Mary Schooling, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and an international team of investigators examined the role of estrogen in cognitive function and depressive symptoms in women in Guangzhou, China. The findings were published in the Preventive Medicine.
[Photo: Dr. Mary Schooling]
The role of estrogen in cognitive function and depressive symptoms is controversial due to discrepancies between results from randomized controlled trials (RCT) and observational studies. The research team hypothesized that Mendelian randomization analysis might provide further insights concerning the role of estrogen in these outcomes as it assesses the effect of lifelong endogenous exposure but is less vulnerable to confounding than observational studies.
The research team used separate sample instrumental variable analysis to estimate the association of 17β estradiol with cognitive function and depressive symptoms in older Chinese women. Data were from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study.
The results were largely consistent with evidence from randomized controlled trials and did not show any beneficial effect of estrogen on cognitive function and depressive symptoms. However, larger Mendelian randomization analyses are needed to identify any minor effects.