Charlottesville, VA—Relatively little research has examined the link between hormones and less prevalent perimenopause symptoms such as depressed mood, insomnia, and irritability. The Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS)—with results published recently in the journal Menopause—sought to remedy that. For the study, led by researchers from the University of Virginia, 727 women aged 42 to 58 years and within 3 years of their final menstrual period were randomized to receive either placebo or one of two hormone replacements—oral conjugated estrogens (CEE) 0.45 mg or transdermal estradiol 50 mcg, both with micronized progesterone 200 mg for 12 days each month. Results indicate that insomnia and irritability decreased from baseline to 6 months after randomization in all groups. In addition, an intermittent reduction in insomnia occurred in both active treatment arms versus placebo, with CEE being more effective than placebo at 36 and 48 months and transdermal estradiol being more effective than placebo at 48 months. Neither hormone treatment significantly affected irritability compared with placebo, according to study authors.

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