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Effect of large-dose progesterone on plasma levels of lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in males

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Eleven men with sexual deviation syndrome were hospitalized for treatmet with medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-provera). Plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apo A-I and LDL apo B were measured before and during Depo- provera treatment. Ten normolipidemic and one mildly hypertriglyceridemic patient with 117 ± 17% ideal body weight were maintained on a regular hospital diet before and during the study. They received an average total dose of 1273 ± 467 mg Depo-provera by im injections over a mean period of 17 ± 6 days. In the whole group, Depo-provera significantly reduced the plasma total cholesterol by 12% (p < 0.0005), triglycerides by 24% (p < 0.005), LDL cholesterol by 13% (p < 0.01), LDL apo B by 15% (p < 0.05), and apo A-I by 7% (p < 0.05). Total HDL cholesterol, HDL2 cholesterol and HDL3 cholesterol did not change significantly. Excluding from the data analysis a normolipidemic patient who had a significant weight loss during the study and the hypertriglyceridemic patient, the fall in apo A-I during Depo-provera treatment was no longer statistically significant. We conclude that short-term, pharmacological doses of progesterone significantly reduce plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and LDL apo B in men.

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Chen, J.J.S., Berlin, F.S. & Margolis, S. Effect of large-dose progesterone on plasma levels of lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in males. J Endocrinol Invest 9, 281–285 (1986).

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