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Effect of statins on estrogen and androgen levels in postmenopausal women treated with estradiol.

Author(s): Peck A, Chaikittisilpa S, Mirzaei R, Wang J, Mack WJ, Hodis HN, Stanczyk FZ

Affiliation(s): *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Publication date & source: 2010-05-07, Climacteric., [Epub ahead of print]

Objective A considerable number of postmenopausal women who receive estrogen therapy are also treated for hypercholesterolemia with cholesterol-lowering statins. Statins and steroid hormones can compete for the same steroid-metabolizing enzymes. We investigated whether long-term administration of statins had an effect on serum estrogen and androgen levels in postmenopausal women receiving and not receiving oral estrogen therapy. Methods A subgroup analysis from the Estrogen in the Prevention of Atherosclerosis Trial, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, was performed. A total of 222 women were randomized to receive either placebo or 1 mg of oral micronized 17beta-estradiol daily for 2 years. In both the placebo and treatment groups, participants with low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels >160 mg/dl were treated with statins. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and every 6 months during the trial. Serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone, androstenedione, testosterone, estrone and 17beta-estradiol were measured by radioimmunoassay. Results Among 86 placebo- and 90 estradiol-treated subjects with baseline and on-trial hormone measurements, no significant differences were observed between the statin-free and statin-treated groups in mean changes from baseline to on-trial levels in any of the androgens or estrogens, whether or not the postmenopausal women were treated with estrogen. Conclusion The results suggest that estrogen therapy and statins can be used simultaneously with no deleterious effects on circulating hormone levels.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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