Discriminating Between the Roles of Androgens and Estrogens in Cardiovascular Disease
Lavranos, Giagkos M.
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Cardiovascular disease shows a distinct difference in incidence rates between men and women, a fact that has been known for many years. While initial theories supported that this could be attributed to the protective effect of estrogens in women, attempts to correlate endogenous estrogen levels with cardiovascular risk factors and the progression of atherosclerosis-related indexes indicate otherwise. Similarly, endogenous androgen levels seem to correlate with opposite effects in males and females, whereas exogenous treatment with either androgens or estrogens fails to correspond to scientific expectations entirely. A brief discussion of the merits and pitfalls of placing either estrogens or androgens alone at the root of the problem shows that current understanding is inadequate concerning this major anthropological issue, as it refers to the primary global mortality and morbidity cause.