ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
The Yearly Flu Shot Debate
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Add your Article

Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Estrogen has long been implicated as being heart protective in premenopausal women, and a new study suggests that having just the right amount of estrogen might be helpful for men as well.

The study, in the May 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that men with heart failure who had the lowest levels of estrogen had about four times the risk of dying as men with average levels and that men with the highest levels of estrogen had more than twice the risk of dying as men with average levels of the hormone.

"Among men with chronic heart failure and reduced left-ventricular ejection fraction, high and low concentrations of estradiol [estrogen] compared with the middle quintile of estradiol are related to an increased mortality," the researchers wrote.

However, Dr. Stephen Siegel, a cardiologist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that though the study "raises certain issues on how hormones may be affected or may affect cardiac function and mortality, it doesn't necessarily link cause and effect."

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle weakens and can't pump blood as efficiently to the rest of the body as it should. As many as 5 million people in the United States currently have heart failure, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Each year, about 300,000 Americans die as a result of heart failure, the institute reports.

The study, which was done in Poland, included 501 men with an average age of 58 years. All of the men had heart failure and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 28 percent. Ejection fraction is a measure of how well the heart is pumping, and the left ventricle is the heart's main pumping chamber. A normal left ventricular ejection fraction would be between 55 percent and 70 percent, according to the American Heart Association.

During the three-year follow-up period, 171 of the men died. When the researchers separated the men into groups based on their estrogen levels, they found that those with the lowest and highest levels of estrogen were more likely to have died.

The group with the lowest estrogen levels had a 44.6 percent survival rate, and those with the second-lowest scores had a 65.8 percent survival rate. The middle group had the highest survival rate, at 82.4 percent. The fourth group, which had elevated estrogen levels, had a 79 percent survival rate, and the group with the highest estrogen levels had a 63.6 percent survival rate.

"This is an interesting observation," said Dr. David Haines, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. "But, it seems just as likely that it could be an epidemiological phenomenon."

Haines said that, based on the data from the study, he would not recommend supplementing heart failure patients with low estrogen, nor would he use medication to block the effects of estrogen on men with high levels.

"For something to be deadly at both ends is unlikely," said Dr. Stuart Katz, director of the heart failure program at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. "Whenever you see this type of U-shaped relationship, it means there has to be two different explanations for what you've seen."

He said it's possible that estrogen may be a marker for worsening heart disease, but said it's probably not a more useful marker than those currently used. "I doubt this study will change what clinicians do," said Katz.

The three heart specialists agreed that though the study's observations raise interesting questions, much more research needs to be done before any changes in clinical practice might occur.

More information

Learn more about heart failure at HeartFailure.org.



SOURCES: Stephen Siegel, M.D., cardiologist, New York University Langone Medical Center, and clinical assistant professor, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; David Haines, M.D., chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.; Stuart Katz, M.D., professor, medicine, Division of Cardiology, New York University School of Medicine, and director, Heart Failure Program, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; May 13, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

Last Updated: May 12, 2009

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