The role of estrogen in cardiovascular disease

Lauren Baker, Kirstan K. Meldrum, Meijing Wang, Rajakumar Sankula, Ram Vanam, Azad Raiesdana, Ben Tsai, Karen Hile, John W. Brown, Daniel R. Meldrum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

109 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death among women, accounting for nearly 50% of female deaths. Statistics show that women on average develop cardiovascular disease 10 to 15 years later in life than men, and that the risk may increase after menopause. This observation has led to much speculation as to what physiological change(s) associated with menopause is responsible for the higher risk of atherosclerosis. Estrogen, with its potential as a cardioprotective agent and as an immunomodulator of the inflammatory response in atherosclerosis, has received the most attention. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to these differences may allow beneficial therapeutic intervention to enhance this effect in females and evoke this protection in males. This review will do the following: (1) characterize mechanisms of atherosclerosis, (2) explore the role of estrogen-replacement therapy, (3) define the effect of gender on inflammation, (4) compare and contrast the effects of estrogen and testosterone on endothelial functional, and (5) suggest mechanistic based therapeutic opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-344
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Estrogen-replacement therapy
  • Menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The role of estrogen in cardiovascular disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Baker, L., Meldrum, K. K., Wang, M., Sankula, R., Vanam, R., Raiesdana, A., Tsai, B., Hile, K., Brown, J. W., & Meldrum, D. R. (2003). The role of estrogen in cardiovascular disease. Journal of Surgical Research, 115(2), 325-344.