| FRIDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthScoutNews) -- Estrogen deficiency in premenopausal women is linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
That's what a study in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found.
The research is based on an analysis of statistics from a major ongoing investigation of heart disease in women called the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE), led by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Coronary artery disease is the leading killer of premenopausal women, ahead of even breast cancer.
Despite that, most previous studies focused on heart disease in older women. This is the first study to show that premenopausal women with low estrogen levels have a significantly greater prevalence of coronary artery disease.
For this study, the researchers collected data on 95 women. They focused on women with low estrogen levels caused by a dysfunctional hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates the ovaries in the production of estrogen and other reproductive hormones.
While the study makes a link between low estrogen and increased risk of coronary heart disease, it wasn't designed to investigate cause and effect.
The study also found that psychosocial stress may be a factor in development of coronary heart disease in these women.
Here's where you can learn more about coronary artery disease in women.
SOURCE: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, news release, Feb. 4, 2003
Copyright © 2003 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.