Abstract 4179: The Association of Sex Hormones with Arterial Compliance Differs Between Men and Women in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)
Studies show differences in vascular stiffness between older men and women. However, the relationship between sex hormones (SH) and vascular stiffness has not been studied. We examined the cross sectional association between endogenous SH (bioavailable testosterone, BioT; estradiol, E2; dehydroepiandrostenedione, DHEA; and sex-hormone binding globulin, SHBG) and carotid vascular compliance in men and women in MESA.
Methods: We included 2966 men and 1886 postmenopausal women who were not on hormone therapy (45– 84 years, 35% white, 13% Chinese, 27% African-American, 24% Hispanic ethnicity). Baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) were measured during carotid ultrasound examination. Carotid strain, a measure of distensibility (fractional change in carotid diameter) was measured from B-mode images. Because men and women differed in the relationship between strain and BP, analyses were performed separately by sex. Log-transformed carotid strain was regressed on log-transformed SH adjusting for log-transformed BP, age, race, glucose, smoking, and BMI. All SH were included in the same model. Differences of coefficients between men and women were evaluated by examining their standard errors.
Results: Carotid strain was 6.8±2.7% in men and 7.0±3.2% in women (p=0.027). In regression analysis (Table⇓), in men, E2 was significantly associated with lesser carotid strain (increased stiffness) while the BioT was associated with borderline significance to higher strain. In women, there was no association between either E2 or T and carotid strain. DHEA and SHBG were not associated with compliance. No race interaction was found with these associations.
Conclusion: E2 is associated with greater arterial stiffness in men, while BioT is weakly associated with lesser stiffness. Sex hormones are not associated with arterial stiffness in women. The hyperestro-genic hypoandrogenic state may impair vascular health in older men.