Endogenous hormones and coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women

Yu Chen, Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Alan A. Arslan, Oktawia Wojcik, Paolo Toniolo, Roy E. Shore, Mortimer Levitz, Karen L. Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association between serum levels of endogenous estrogens in postmenopausal women and the subsequent risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) was examined in a prospective case-control study nested within the New York University Women's Health Study (NYUWHS). The NYUWHS is a prospective cohort study of 14,274 healthy women enrolled between 1985 and 1991. A total of 99 women who were postmenopausal and free of cardiovascular disease at enrollment and who subsequently experienced CHD, defined as non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), fatal CHD, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), were matched 1:2 by baseline age, blood sampling date, and postmenopausal status to controls who remained free of CHD as of the date of diagnosis of the matching case. Biochemical analyses for total estradiol, estrone, percent free estradiol, percent estradiol bound to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and SHBG were performed on pre-diagnostic stored serum samples. Participants had not used any hormone medications in the 6 months prior to blood collection. In the model adjusting only for matching factors, the risk of CHD in the top tertile of calculated bioavailable estradiol was elevated compared with the bottom tertile (OR = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.13-3.90, P for trend = 0.03), and the risk in the top tertile of SHBG was reduced (OR = 0.50, 95% CI = 0.28-0.92, P for trend < 0.01). However, these associations disappeared after adjusting for baseline hypertension status, body mass index, and serum cholesterol levels. These findings suggest that circulating estradiol and SHBG are not associated with CHD risk in postmenopausal women beyond what can be explained by the variation in hypertension status, BMI, and cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Coronary heart disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Hormones
  • Nested case-control studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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