New study claims sex hormone levels could impact on risk of heart disease post-menopause

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new 2018 study released by Johns Hopkins University suggests women's sex hormone levels could have an effect on their risk of heart disease, post-menopause.

Although up to age 50, the risk of cardiovascular disease is generally lower in women compared to men, wouldn't you know, the risk tends to rise dramatically following menopause!

Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, indicates that higher levels of the male hormone testosterone - and a higher ratio of testosterone compared to the female hormone oestrogen - are associated with a higher risk of heart disease in post-menopausal women.

Researchers followed 2,834 post-menopausal women over a 12-year period, finding that a higher testosterone-to-oestradiol ratio was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and heart failure.

The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics FIGO, the global voice of women's health, reported that higher testosterone levels were linked to an increased risk for coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, whereas higher oestradiol levels was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Senior study author Dr Erin Michos, associate professor of medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: 'Although sex hormone levels may be linked to future cardiovascular events, it is unclear what the best intervention is to modify sex hormone levels for risk reduction'. She goes on to say that identifying the raised hormone levels and increased risk may identify women who can benfit from other 'risk reduction strategies'.

They conclude that although they can identify the risk, more research is needed to determine how these hormones affect cell and organ functions in driving cardiovascular disease as women age, so that new therapeutic strategies can be developed. We wait for news of this research!