Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Estrogen may increase risk of cardiovascular events in menopausal women

Date:
June 11, 2012
Source:
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Summary:
A study has been conducted on 6,000 women aged over 65. Its results demonstrate, for the first time, that women with high levels of estradiol in their blood are exposed to a greater risk of myocardial infarction or strokes.

Women are less prone to cardiovascular disease then men; but this difference between the sexes becomes less marked after the menopause. This observation is behind a great deal of received wisdom, where estrogen is assumed to have a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels. Today, new data seems to question these presuppositions. A study has been conducted by a team of Inserm researchers, directed by Pierre-Yves Scarabin (Inserm Unit 1018 "Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health Research"), on 6,000 women aged over 65; its results demonstrate, for the first time, that women with high levels of estradiol in their blood are exposed to a greater risk of myocardial infarction or strokes.

The results are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Estrogen hormones play a key role in sexual development and reproduction in women. Estradiol is the most active hormone. Its blood levels are particularly high during the active reproductive period. After the menopause, the ovarian function ceases, leading to a significant drop in estrogen levels in the blood (the adipose tissue then becomes the main source of estrogen). However, low concentrations of these hormones do continue to circulate and may still exert biological actions.

Throughout their lives, women are less exposed to the risk of cardiovascular disease than men. For many years, this relative immunity displayed by women was attributed to estrogen undertaking a 'protector' role in terms of atherosclerosis and its complications. However, this hypothesis was not confirmed by recent research into the hormonal treatment of the menopause. estrogen administration does not prevent ischaemic arterial disease in menopausal women and could even have a harmful effect on women in the highest age bracket.

Until now, no study has been able to clearly identify the link between circulating endogenous sexual hormones and the cardiovascular risk in menopausal women.

Today, this knowledge gap has been reduced by the results of a French cohort study (Three City Study-3C) performed on approximately 6,000 women aged over 65 from among the general public. Estradiol levels in the blood were measured upon entry into the cohort and, after monitoring performed over a four year period, 150 new cases of cardiovascular disease had appeared.

For the first time, the results demonstrate that high estradiol levels in the blood lead to an increased risk of myocardial infarction or strokes, although the cause and effect link is not shown. This relation is not influenced by other known factors for cardiovascular risk, namely diabetes and obesity.

Other results show that estrogen seems to affect some mechanisms involved arterial obstruction, which causes cardiovascular disease. Although the coagulative effect of estrogen is clearly defined, significant research is now required to establish its role in the inflammatory process, particularly in obese women, where the accumulation of adipose tissues is associated with high estrogen levels.

This new data questions the beneficial role of estrogen on the heart and vessels. "Fresh studies must confirm this harmful effect and establish whether these results can be applied to younger menopausal women" stated Pierre-Yves Scarabin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Valérie Scarabin-Carré, Marianne Canonico, Sylvie Brailly-Tabard, Séverine Trabado, Pierre Ducimetière, Maurice Giroud, Joanne Ryan, Catherine Helmer, Geneviève Plu-Bureau, Anne Guiochon-Mantel, and Pierre-Yves Scarabin. High Level of Plasma Estradiol as a New Predictor of Ischemic Arterial Disease in Older Postmenopausal Women: The Three-City Cohort Study. J Am Heart Assoc, 2012 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.112.001388

Cite This Page:

INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Estrogen may increase risk of cardiovascular events in menopausal women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611122550.htm>.
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). (2012, June 11). Estrogen may increase risk of cardiovascular events in menopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611122550.htm
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Estrogen may increase risk of cardiovascular events in menopausal women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611122550.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) — As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins