Sex hormones play a major role in determining the risk of cardiovascular disease. While earlier studies have shown that reduced sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is associated with increased glucose and insulin cocnentrations in premenopausal women, few data exist on the relationship of SHBG to other cardiovascular risk factors in women. We hypothesized that decreased SHBG would be associated with an atherogenic pattern of cardiovascular risk factors. We measured total testosterone, total estradiol and SHBG, lipids and lipoproteins, glucose and insulin, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure in 96 premenopausal women. Although total testosterone and total estradiol were not related to cardiovascular risk factors, SHBG was negatively associated with triglyceride concentration (r = -0.37) and positively associated with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC) (r = 0.42). After adjustment for overall adiposity (body mass index) and upper body adiposity (as measured by the ratio of waist-to-hip circumferences), SHBG was still positively related to HDLC, but not to triglyceride. Adjustment for insulin abolished the relationship between SHBG and triglyceride levels, but did not alter the relationship between SHBG and HDLC. Sex hormones were not related to either systolic or diastolic blood pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine