Androgens for postmenopausal women's health?

Montalcini, Tiziana; Migliaccio, Valeria; Ferro, Yvelise; Gazzaruso, Carmine; Pujia, Arturo
December 2012
Endocrine (1355008X);Dec2012, Vol. 42 Issue 3, p514
Academic Journal
Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes are becoming a leading health concern in the developed Countries, due to their link to cardiovascular disease. These conditions are common in women in the post-menopausal period. Unfortunately, actual lifestyle change strategy fail to prevent cardiovascular events for several reasons, thus specific medications are needed. In addition, it was showed an increased cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women taking estrogens alone or with progestin, thus the optimal therapy for the preventions of chronic disease in women is still lacking. Androgens exert different actions on organs like adipose tissue, brain, bone, and on cardiovascular system. However, a debate still exists on the positive role of androgens on human health, especially in women. Furthermore, the vascular effects of androgens remain poorly understood and have been controversial for a long time. Sex hormones are important determinants of body composition. Aging is, often, accompanied by a decrease in free testosterone levels, a concomitant reduction in muscle mass and an increase in fat mass. Furthermore, numerous studies showed that total serum testosterone levels were inversely related to the atherosclerosis disease incidence in postmenopausal women. New therapeutic targets may, therefore, arise understanding how androgen could influence the fat distribution, the metabolic disease onset, the vascular reactivity and cardiovascular risk, in both sex.


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