Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Anti-cholesterol statins do not reduce reproductive hormones in women of child-bearing age


Physicians have been concerned that relatively new prescription medications called statins, which are being increasingly prescribed to reduce blood cholesterol levels, might also decrease reproductive hormone levels and cause women of child-bearing age to be less fertile.

A study headed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that neither the use of statins nor low blood cholesterol levels significantly affected reproductive hormone levels in pre-, peri-, or postmenopausal women. These findings are the subject of an article appearing in the current issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Specialists in heart disease and stroke typically urge patients to maintain low levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol in the blood, but a certain amount of cholesterol is necessary. In fact, reproductive hormones are derivatives of cholesterol, which led researchers to wonder if statins, which reduce blood cholesterol, might also reduce reproductive hormones.

According to C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., the report’s first author and the primary investigator of the WISE Study, "Although statins have been shown to be safe in clinical trials, fewer than 20 percent of trial participants have been women, and previous studies of the impact on reproductive hormones did not include premenopausal women of childbearing age."

Dr. Bairey Merz is director of Cedars-Sinai’Medical Center’s Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center, and director of the Women’s Health Program. She also holds the Women’s Guild Chair in Women’s Health at Cedars-Sinai.

The new study included 453 women with coronary risk factors who were undergoing coronary angiography for suspected ischemia – lack of oxygen to the heart – at four academic medical centers in the United States. Of the total, 114 women were premenopausal. Data analyzed were drawn from an ongoing study, the Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE), sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

"Neither blood lipoprotein level nor use of statins was a significant independent predictor of reproductive hormone levels in models that adjusted for age, menopausal status, menstrual phase, and body mass index," according to the article.

Although the results offer more reassurance that statin use is safe, Dr. Bairey Merz noted that the women in this sample were undergoing testing for suspected myocardial ischemia and may not be representative of the general population. She said additional large-scale studies that would further reduce potential variables should be conducted, focusing particularly on women in their child-bearing years.

The work was supported by The Women’s Guild of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (contracts N01-HV-68161, N01-HV-68162, N01-HV-68163, and N01-HV-68164); a General Clinical Research Center grant MO1-RR00425 from the National Center for Research Resources, Bethesda, Md.; a grant from the Gustavus and Louis Pfeiffer Research Foundation, Danville, N.J.; and a grant from The Ladies Hospital Aid Society of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the Western United States. For the fifth straight two-year period, it has been named Southern California’s gold standard in health care in an independent survey. Cedars-Sinai is internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities and its broad spectrum of programs and services, as well as breakthrough in biomedical research and superlative medical education. Named one of the 100 "Most Wired" hospitals in health care in 2001, the Medical Center ranks among the top 10 non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities.

IRB #2398 Women’s Ischemic Symptom Evaluation (WISE) - Blood Hormone Level Determination

CITATION: American Journal of Medicine, December 2002, Volume 113, Number 9, "Cholesterol-Lowering Medication, Cholesterol Level, and Reproductive Hormones in Women: The Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE)."

Sandra Van | Van Communications
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>