Testosterone, SHBG and cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.Int J Impot Res. 2010 Mar-Apr; 22(2):91-104.IJ
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects men and women differently with women having a lower incidence and later onset of disease. Research has recently refocused interest on the cardiovascular role of androgens. The purpose of this review is to summarize the evidence available on the association between testosterone and cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women. Published studies relating testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) to CVD and its risk factors were reviewed. Studies included in this review suggest that increased androgenicity, characterized by high testosterone and low SHBG levels, is associated with an adverse CVD risk factor profile in postmenopausal women. However, evidence for an association with cardiovascular events is lacking and it is uncertain whether the observed associations with endogenous testosterone have clinical implications regarding the use of postmenopausal testosterone therapy. Large-scale, longitudinal studies relating testosterone and SHBG levels to cardiovascular risk factors and endpoints are needed to determine the temporal relationship between androgenicity and cardiovascular risk and to ascertain the long-term efficacy and safety of testosterone therapy in postmenopausal women.