Associations of endogenous sex hormones with the vasculature in menopausal women

The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Rachel P. Wildman, Alicia B. Colvin, Lynda H. Powell, Karen A. Matthews, Susan A. Everson-Rose, Steven Hollenberg, Janet M. Johnston, Kim Sutton-Tyrrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: As associations between endogenous sex hormones and the vasculature are not well characterized, the objective was to examine the cross-sectional associations of menopausal status and endogenous sex hormones with vascular characteristics. DESIGN: Common carotid artery adventitial diameter and intima-media thickness were determined using B-mode ultrasonography among 483 middle-aged women enrolled in the Pittsburgh and Chicago sites of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of women were pre- or early perimenopausal (<3 mo amenorrhea), 12% were late perimenopausal (3-12 mo amenhorrhea), and 27% were postmenopausal (≥12 mo amenorrhea). After adjustment for age, compared with pre-/early perimenopause, late perimenopause was associated with a 0.28-mm larger adventitial diameter (P = 0.001), whereas postmenopause was associated with a 0.15-mm larger adventitial diameter (P = 0.040). Adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors slightly attenuated these associations, but the association with late perimenopause remained statistically significant (P = 0.001). Each SD lower log estradiol value was associated with a 0.07-mm larger adventitial diameter after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors (P = 0.023), whereas other endogenous hormones showed no associations. Intima-media thickness values were not significantly associated with menopausal status or endogenous sex hormones after adjustment for age. CONCLUSIONS: The menopausal transition and declining estrogen levels are associated with alterations of the peripheral vasculature, which may help to explain the increased risk of cardiovascular disease with postmenopause.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalMenopause
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008

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Adventitia
Perimenopause
Gonadal Steroid Hormones
Women's Health
Postmenopause
Common Carotid Artery
Amenorrhea
Blood Vessels
Estradiol
Ultrasonography
Estrogens
Cardiovascular Diseases
Hormones

Keywords

  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Endogenous sex hormones
  • Estradiol
  • Menopause

Cite this

Associations of endogenous sex hormones with the vasculature in menopausal women : The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). / Wildman, Rachel P.; Colvin, Alicia B.; Powell, Lynda H.; Matthews, Karen A.; Everson-Rose, Susan A.; Hollenberg, Steven; Johnston, Janet M.; Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim.

In: Menopause, Vol. 15, No. 3, 01.05.2008, p. 414-421.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wildman, RP, Colvin, AB, Powell, LH, Matthews, KA, Everson-Rose, SA, Hollenberg, S, Johnston, JM & Sutton-Tyrrell, K 2008, 'Associations of endogenous sex hormones with the vasculature in menopausal women: The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)', Menopause, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 414-421. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0b013e318154b6f5
Wildman, Rachel P. ; Colvin, Alicia B. ; Powell, Lynda H. ; Matthews, Karen A. ; Everson-Rose, Susan A. ; Hollenberg, Steven ; Johnston, Janet M. ; Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim. / Associations of endogenous sex hormones with the vasculature in menopausal women : The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). In: Menopause. 2008 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 414-421.
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AU - Matthews, Karen A.

AU - Everson-Rose, Susan A.

AU - Hollenberg, Steven

AU - Johnston, Janet M.

AU - Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim

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AB - OBJECTIVE: As associations between endogenous sex hormones and the vasculature are not well characterized, the objective was to examine the cross-sectional associations of menopausal status and endogenous sex hormones with vascular characteristics. DESIGN: Common carotid artery adventitial diameter and intima-media thickness were determined using B-mode ultrasonography among 483 middle-aged women enrolled in the Pittsburgh and Chicago sites of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of women were pre- or early perimenopausal (<3 mo amenorrhea), 12% were late perimenopausal (3-12 mo amenhorrhea), and 27% were postmenopausal (≥12 mo amenorrhea). After adjustment for age, compared with pre-/early perimenopause, late perimenopause was associated with a 0.28-mm larger adventitial diameter (P = 0.001), whereas postmenopause was associated with a 0.15-mm larger adventitial diameter (P = 0.040). Adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors slightly attenuated these associations, but the association with late perimenopause remained statistically significant (P = 0.001). Each SD lower log estradiol value was associated with a 0.07-mm larger adventitial diameter after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors (P = 0.023), whereas other endogenous hormones showed no associations. Intima-media thickness values were not significantly associated with menopausal status or endogenous sex hormones after adjustment for age. CONCLUSIONS: The menopausal transition and declining estrogen levels are associated with alterations of the peripheral vasculature, which may help to explain the increased risk of cardiovascular disease with postmenopause.

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