Author(s): Spencer CP, Godsland IF, Stevenson JC
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Abstract Estradiol-17 beta has beneficial effects on a range of metabolic risk factors for coronary heart disease and the decline in estrogen concentrations at the menopause would be expected to have adverse effects. Review of the literature on effects of the menopause and of estradiol-17 beta provides evidence for the following changes occurring at or after the menopause: increased total cholesterol and triglycerides; decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL subfraction 2; increased low density lipoprotein, particularly in the small, dense subfraction; increased lipoprotein (a); increased insulin resistance; decreased insulin secretion; decreased insulin elimination; increased android fat distribution; impaired vascular function; increased factor VII and fibrinogen, and reduced sex-hormone binding globulin. Many of these changes will themselves have adverse effects on other metabolic risk factors. This complex of inter-correlated adverse changes in metabolic risk factors justifies identification of a distinct menopausal metabolic syndrome which originates in estrogen deficiency and which could contribute to the increased risk of coronary heart disease seen in postmenopausal women. Estrogen replacement can diminish the expression of this syndrome.
This article was published in Gynecol Endocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research