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November 1957

The Effects of Estrogens on Serum Lipids in Women

Author Affiliations

Worcester, Mass.

From the Medical Division and the Research Laboratory of The Memorial Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(5):739-743. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260110055008

In 1949 Eilert demonstrated the lipid-shifting effects of estrogens in postmenopausal and castrated women.1 Because of the preponderance of men suffering from coronary heart disease in middle age the relationship between the lipid effects of estrogens and coronary atherosclerosis has been studied chiefly in men. Recently several groups have clearly documented the striking effects of estrogens on the serum lipids of men with coronary heart disease when employed in adequate dosage for sufficient time.2-6 However, since there is an increased incidence of coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women, the growth of the aging population has resulted in an increasingly important number of women suffering from this disease.

The rise of serum cholesterol levels in women with advancing age has been well established,7-9 but the reasons for this remain obscure. The physiological decrease of ovarian function as reflected by the progressive fall of urinary estrogen levels in aging

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