HealthDay News — In postmenopausal women, higher testosterone/estradiol ratios are associated with increased risks for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart failure events, according to a study published in the June 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Di Zhao, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed the associations of sex hormone levels with incident CVD, CHD, and heart failure events among women without CVD at baseline using data from 2,834 postmenopausal women participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Testosterone, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels were measured at baseline (2000 to 2002).
The researchers found that over 12.1 years of follow-up, 283 CVD, 171 CHD, and 103 heart failure incident events occurred. After multivariable adjustment, for 1 SD greater log-transformed total testosterone level, the hazard ratios were 1.14 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.29) for CVD, 1.2 (95 percent CI, 1.03 to 1.4) for CHD, and 1.09 (95 percent CI, 0.9 to 1.34) for heart failure. For 1 SD greater log-transformed estradiol level, the hazard ratios were 0.94 (95 percent CI, 0.8 to 1.11) for CVD, 0.77 (95 percent CI, 0.63 to 0.95) for CHD, and 0.78 (95 percent CI, 0.6 to 1.02) for heart failure. For 1 SD greater log-transformed testosterone/estradiol ratio, the hazard ratios were 1.19 (95 percent CI, 1.02 to 1.4) for CVD, 1.45 (95 percent CI, 1.19 to 1.78) for CHD, and 1.31 (95 percent CI, 1.01 to 1.7) for heart failure. There were no associations between dehydroepiandrosterone and SHBG levels with these outcomes.
“Sex hormone levels after menopause are associated with women’s increased CVD risk later in life,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.