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Sex Hormone Levels and Heart Disease

May 30, 2018

In the The Journal of the American College of Cardiology an article in Mary of 2018 showed that in post-menopausal women, having a higher blood level of a male hormone (testosterone) and a higher ratio of the male-type to-female type (estrogen) of hormones was associated with a higher risk of heart disease later in life.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Heart disease assessment does depend upon knowing personal risks, which includes hormone levels

2. Prior to the age of 50 male heart disease risk is greater than women, that ratio reverses, and declining hormones as you age changes your risks

3. Realize that more research is necessary, as there are no specific 'good or bad' levels of any one hormone, and any one test of saliva or blood cannot realistically predict your risk, these levels have to be taken into context.

4. The newest data regarding hormone levels is from a study called Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) to evaluate the association of sex hormone levels with incident cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and heart failure over a 12-year follow-up in 2,834 post-menopausal women free of cardiovascular disease at baseline.

5. When looking at levels of testosterone and estrogen, those women who maintained higher testosterone had greater risks of heart disease.

6. No recommendations were made about what hormone prescriptions to give a particular patient based on her levels of hormones. However, the senior author Erin D. Michos, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was quoted as saying “However, a sex hormone profile higher in male hormones may identify a woman at higher risk for cardiovascular disease who may benefit from other risk reduction strategies.”

7. Virginia M. Miller, PhD professor of physiology and surgery and director of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Research Center wrote precision medicine will take into account your individualize genetics that have to do with how you process and produce steroid hormones over your lifetime.

This study was reported on line by the American College of Cardiology. For more, visit

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