Postmenopausal sex hormones: comparing apples and pears
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The sex hormone story in relation to cardiovascular disease is always good for a surprise. Where we assumed that increased levels of female sex hormones were protective against the development of cardiovascular disease, our colleagues Mei Dong et al. from Yantai, China suggest quite the opposite. In their paper published in this edition of the Netherlands Heart Journal the authors describe a relation between the occurrence of a myocardial infarction (MI) in post-menopausal women and levels of sex hormones . They report that high levels of oestradiol and increased waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are related to the occurrence of acute MI.
This story is confusing. From an epidemiological perspective it was shown that in women there is a relation between the onset of the menopause and the risk of MI. Based on these observations studies were initiated to supply sex hormones in order to postpone the onset of atherosclerosis. Yet the beneficial effects of hormone replacement therapy were off set...
Conflict of interests
- 1.Dong M, Gou F, Yang J, et al. Detrimental effects of endogenous estrogens on primary acute myocardial infarction among postmenopausal women. Neth Heart J. 2012. doi: 10.1007/s12471-012-0323-5 [Epub ahead of print].
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