Let’s Talk About Sex (Differences)

Males, Females, Hormones, and Vascular Aging

An elegant study from Moreau et al. showing the decline in endothelial function across the menopause transition. From Moreau et al. (2012)

Experiments in Function

Since it’s difficult to draw conclusions from associations and correlations, many studies have been done to elucidate the mechanisms by which declining endothelial function/enhanced arterial stiffening occur in women with aging.

Endothelial function starts to decline around age 40 in men, but not until around age 50 in women (around the menopause transition). From Celermajer et al. (1994)

Why Women?

Most mechanisms of vascular (dys)function and arterial stiffening with age in men and women overlap. However, understanding the additional risk due to hormonal changes in women requires further explanation.

Mechanisms that influence greater CVD risk in women with aging. From Moreau (2018)
Exercise training improves endothelial function in men (left) but not estrogen deficient postmenopausal women (-E2). However, estrogen replacement therapy (+E2) permits adaptations.

References

Kerrie L. Moreau, Kerry L. Hildreth, Amie L. Meditz, Kevin D. Deane, Wendy M. Kohrt; Endothelial Function Is Impaired across the Stages of the Menopause Transition in Healthy Women, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 97, Issue 12, 1 December 2012, Pages 4692–4700,

PhD candidate at the University of Florida — Science writing with a particular focus on exercise and nutrition interventions, aging, health, and disease.

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