Endogenous sex hormones and ischemic heart disease in men. The Caerphilly prospective study

J W Yarnell, A D Beswick, P M Sweetnam, D Riad-Fahmy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous case-control studies have suggested that elevated levels of endogenous estrogen and low levels of testosterone are associated with ischemic heart disease (IHD) in men. These findings were tested in the Caerphilly study of 2,512 men from the general population who were aged 45-59 years at baseline and were followed for 5 years. Some 153 men experienced a new episode of IHD (fatal and nonfatal) during the period of follow-up. Baseline values of estradiol were marginally higher in subjects who developed IHD than in those who did not, but the difference was not statistically significant. Plasma values of testosterone were similar in the two groups. Among quintiles of the distribution of the hormone values, the incidence of IHD was similar in the case of estradiol; there was also no clear trend in the case of testosterone. These findings provide no support for the suggestion that plasma estradiol or testosterone are primary risk factors for IHD, although the associations between plasma testosterone and other probable risk markers (triglycerides, insulin, body mass index, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol) indicate the possibility that testosterone may play an indirect role in the pathogenesis of IHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-20
Number of pages4
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993


  • Cohort Studies
  • Estradiol
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Ischemia
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Testosterone


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