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Low levels of the DHEA prohormone predict coronary heart disease

Date:
November 10, 2014
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Men with low levels of DHEA in the blood run an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease events.
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Men with low levels of DHEA in the blood run an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease events. The Sahlgrenska Academy study has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The term prohormone refers to the precursor of a hormone. DHEA is a prohormone that is produced by the adrenal glands and can be converted to active sex hormones. While the tendency of DHEA levels to fall with age was discovered long ago, the biological role of the prohormone is largely unknown.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have now shown that elderly men with low levels of DHEA in the blood run an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease events.

Lower level -- greater risk

The study -- which monitored 2,614 men age 69-80 in Gothenburg, Uppsala and Malmö for five years -- assessed DHEA levels. The findings demonstrated that the lower the DHEA level at the study start, the greater the risk of coronary heart disease events during the five-year follow-up.

"Endogenous production of DHEA appears to be a protective factor against coronary heart disease," says Åsa Tivesten, who coordinated the study. "High DHEA levels may also be a biomarker of generally good health in elderly men."

Clear correlation

According to Professor Claes Ohlsson, "While the study establishes a clear correlation between DHEA in the blood and coronary heart disease, the discovery does not indicate whether or not treatment with DHEA will reduce the risk in individual patients."


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Åsa Tivesten, Liesbeth Vandenput, Daniel Carlzon, Maria Nilsson, Magnus K. Karlsson, Östen Ljunggren, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Dan Mellström, Claes Ohlsson. Dehydroepiandrosterone and its Sulfate Predict the 5-Year Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Events in Elderly Men. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2014; 64 (17): 1801 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.05.076

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Low levels of the DHEA prohormone predict coronary heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141110083529.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2014, November 10). Low levels of the DHEA prohormone predict coronary heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141110083529.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Low levels of the DHEA prohormone predict coronary heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141110083529.htm (accessed May 23, 2024).

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