Association of sex hormones with incident 10-year cardiovascular disease and mortality in women

Gotja Schaffrath, Hanna Kische, Stefan Gross, Henri Wallaschofski, Henry Völzke, Marcus Dörr, Matthias Nauck, Brian G. Keevil, Georg Brabant, Robin Haring

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The aims of this study were to ascertain whether women with high levels of serum total testosterone (TT) or low levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD), and to investigate potential associations between sex hormones and mortality (all-cause, as well as cause-specific) in the general population. Study design and main outcome measures Data on 2129 women with a mean age of 49.0 years were obtained from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania over a median follow-up of 10.9 years. Associations of baseline levels of TT, SHBG, and rostenedione (ASD), and free testosterone (fT), and of the free androgen index (FAI), with follow-up CVD morbidity, as well as all-cause and CVD mortality, were analyzed using multivariable regression modeling. Results At baseline the prevalence rate of CVD was 17.8% (378 women) and the incidence of CVD over the follow-up was 50.9 per 1000 person-years. We detected an inverse association between SHBG and baseline CVD in age-adjusted models (relative risk per standard deviation increase: 0.83; 95% confidence interval: 0.74-0.93). We did not detect any significant associations between sex hormone concentrations and incident CVD in age- and multivariable-adjusted Poisson regression models. Furthermore, none of the sex hormones (TT, SHBG, ASD, fT, FAI) were associated with all-cause mortality. Conclusions This population-based cohort study did not yield any consistent associations between sex hormones in women and incident CVD or mortality risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Sex hormones
  • Testosterone
  • Women

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