Chapter 2

Cardiovascular Actions of Estrogens

Genovefa D. Kolovou

Abstract

The actions of estrogens on the cardiovascular system occur either indirectly through the modification of cardiovascular risk factors [reduction of plasma LDL cholesterol, elevation of HDL cholesterol, effect on hemostatic factors (reduction of fibrinogen and inhibitors of fibrinolysis)] or directly mediated by the estrogen receptors (ERs, defined as genomic action of estrogens) or other receptors. In this chapter, the overall actions of estrogens on the cardiovascular system and particularly on the vascular wall, as well as actions of estrogens on many different metabolic pathways affecting the cardiovascular system will be analyzed. The indirect actions of estrogen on the circulatory and hematological system, body composition, lipids and glucose metabolisms will be analyzed. There are several causes leading to the development of early onset of coronary heart disease in young women. These causes can be classified into five categories: 1) Vasculitis and autoimmune diseases, 2) Hypercoagulable states, 3) Non-atherosclerotic coronary heart disease, 4) Myocardial infarction in hallucinogenic drug abusers, and 5) Atherosclerotic coronary heart disease. The causes leading to an early onset of coronary heart disease in young women will be analyzed.

Total Pages: 31-94 (64)

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