The prevalence of coronary artery disease is much higher in men than in women and sex hormones might play a role in these differences via their influence on lipid profile. However, the role of sex hormones in the relationship between male gender and cardiovascular risk remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between serum levels of several sex hormones, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and lipid profile in men with coronary artery disease.
Materials and Methods: We determined serum total testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone binding globulin, total cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol, LDL- cholesterol in 46 male patients with angiographically defined stable coronary artery disease and in 30 healthy and ag -matched controls. Free androgen index ((total testosterone / sex hormone binding globulin) x 100) were calculated for each object.
Results: The patients with coronary artery disease presented significantly increased values of total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL-cholesterol and sex hormone binding globulin levels (p= 0.01, p= 0.001, p= 0.022, p= 0.001, respectively) and decreased values of HDL-cholesterol, free testosterone, total testosterone/ estradiol ratio and free androgen index with respect to the control group (p= 0.033, p= 0.009, p= 0.04, p= 0.001, respectively). The correlations between hormone levels and metabolic parameters were also calculated. Serum total testosterone levels correlated positively with HDL-cholesterol (r= 0.408, p= 0.001).
Conclusion: The results in the present study suggest that low serum androgen level may be a risk factor for coronary artery disease, which may be related to their influence on plasma lipoprotein metabolism.