Sex Hormones Blamed for Heart Risk

Men have double the risk of women of developing heart disease, and a new study indicates it may be male sex hormones that are to blame.

Before menopause it appears estrogen gives women a protective effect from heart disease and high cholesterol levels.

Research shows the interaction of sex hormones like testosterone and estradiol in younger men heightened risk for three of six risk factors – high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity. (But it doesn’t cause cancer – see study)

The research showed cellular damage was done long before any symptoms of cardiovascular disease became apparent.

The Male Disadvantage

Exposure to heart disease comes from three directions, according to research.

Blood Pressure

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, men are more likely than women to have high blood pressure. Compared to men, women are more likely to be aware of their blood pressure and more likely to follow their doctor’s recommendations.


Until the age of about 55, women have lower levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, corresponding with their lower risk of heart disease.

Not only do men have higher levels of “bad” cholesterol, from the time of puberty, they also have lower levels of high-density lipoprotein or HDL, the “good” cholesterol.


Scientists speculate that high estrogen levels in young women might protect them from heart disease.

Women who have normal levels of estrogen rarely suffer heart attacks, according to Dr. Kolovou and colleagues in their May 2010 paper in “Current Vascular Pharmacology,” women have three to fives times lower risk of heart attack than men.

Estrogen probably inhibits the formation of plaques in the blood vessels that cause atherosclerosis, a leading risk factor for heart disease.

ED Early Warning of Heart Disease

Erectile dysfunction is an early warning of heart disease and perhaps also for pre-diabetic conditions.  If you begin to suffer ED treat it like the “canary in the coal mine” and get yourself checked by a health professional.

You can get effective support for ED from herbal supplements like Herbal Ignite which will improve sexual performance without any unpleasant side effects.

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