ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Functional Foods Uncovered
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Optimism May Boost Immune System
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
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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