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Am J Hypertens. 2009 Nov;22(11):1148-53. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2009.155. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

Serum estrogen metabolites and systolic blood pressure among middle-aged and older women and men.

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Section of General Internal Medicine and the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL, USA.



Hypertension is more common among men at younger ages and among women after age 60, suggesting a possible link between endogenous estrogens and systolic blood pressure (SBP). We tested whether serum 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) or any of its metabolites were associated with SBP among middle-aged and older adults.


Using a cross-sectional study design, we examined data from a population-based sample of 98 adults living in Cook County, Illinois. Age ranged between 55 and 69 years and body mass index (BMI) ranged between 19.8 and 50.6 kg/m(2). Serum was analyzed for 17beta-E(2) and 14 estrogen metabolites (EMs) using mass spectrometry. SBP was measured using a tonometric device that records a pulse wave at the radial artery. Demographic and health history information were obtained via questionnaires.


Univariate analysis revealed an inverse relationship between SBP and both natural log (ln) 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (OHE(1)) (r = -0.360, P < 0.05) and ln 16-ketoestradiol (ketoE(2)) (r = -0.360, P < 0.05) among women but not men. No significant correlations were found between SBP and 17beta-E(2) in either sex. In multivariate analysis which adjusted for age, race, ethnicity, BMI, and use of cardiovascular medications, ln 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE(1)) (B = -5.3, s.e. = 2.1, P < 0.05) and ln 16-ketoE(2) (B = -4.7, s.e. = 1.9, P < 0.05) continued to be negatively associated with SBP among postmenopausal women.


These data suggest that serum 16alpha-OHE(1) or 16-ketoE(2) may be important for vascular health among postmenopausal women but not among similarly aged men.

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