The Role of Reproductive Hormones in Cardiovascular and Neuroendocrine Function during Behavioral Stress
The role of reproductive hormones—both male and female—in the development and progression of coronary heart disease has been studied by epidemiologists for many years, yet discrepancies in the epidemiological literature are widespread, no doubt due to the complexities of the human reproductive system itself. Despite the discrepancies, there is significant evidence that endogenous ovarian hormones—most likely the estrogens—serve a cardioprotective role for women. In some cases, and in small doses, certain exogenous estrogens might also be protective against heart disease. There is little doubt that both endogenous and exogenous reproductive hormones play a complicated role in modulating the risk of coronary heart disease.
KeywordsMenstrual Cycle Follicular Phase Estrogen Replacement Therapy Psychosomatic Medicine Reproductive Hormone
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