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October 26, 1963

Androgen Metabolism in Patients with Hypercholesteremia and Coronary Artery Disease

JAMA. 1963;186(4):316-320. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710040042008

Individual urinary 11-desoxy-17-ketosteroids were quantitated in normal and hypercholesteremic subjects using a new glass paper chromatographic method. Hypercholesteremic subjects showed a statistically significant increase in epiandrosterone excretion but other fractions fell within normal ranges. Estrogen therapy of hypercholesteremic postmenopausal females decreased epiandrosterone excretion and lowered serum cholesterol to normal. These findings suggest a derangement in steroid hydroxylating enzymes (acting at the 3α or 3β position) responsible for the hepatic degradation of androgenic hormones which may also regulate the synthesis or degradation of cholesterol. Estrogens may affect the relative activity of these enzymes in both sexes. The possibility of abnormal adrenal androgen secretion in hypercholesteremic patients is also entertained.