Emerging role of estrogen in the control of cardiometabolic disease.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Trends in pharmacological sciences, Volume 31, Issue 4, p.183-9 (2010)


2010, Center-Authored Paper, Public Health Sciences Division


Menopause is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease that is partly independent of aging. This increased risk is largely due to postmenopausal estrogen loss. Estrogen improves insulin sensitivity and ss-cell function. This is consistent with the increased risk of diabetes after menopause and the finding that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) lowers the incidence of diabetes. Experimental data suggest that estrogen has anti-atherosclerotic and pro-thrombotic properties. This is consistent with observational and interventional studies suggesting that MHT reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease if initiated early in women with a low-risk profile, but might increase risk in older women and/or those with other risk factors (e.g. dyslipidemia). Future research focusing on improving prevention of cardiometabolic disease through MHT may help to identify agents with higher tissue- and estrogen receptor-isoform specificity than currently used hormones.