OBJECTIVE: Several data indicate that endogenous sex steroids might influence left ventricular mass. Our aim was to examine the association between dehyroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAS) levels and left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and ventricular septal thickness (VST) in pre- and in postmenopausal women with treated essential hypertension. PATIENTS AND METHODS: LVMI and VST were related to serum DHEAS in 26 pre- and in 34 postmenopausal women. The associations between DHEAS and LVMI, VST were adjusted for body mass index, duration of hypertension, systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol and testosterone levels using a multiple regression model. RESULTS: In premenopausal women there was a significant linear correlation between DHEAS and LVMI (P < 0.02) after adjustment for confounding variables. In contrast, DHEAS was inversely correlated with LVMI and VST in postmenopausal women (r = -0.49, P < 0.02, r = -0.42, P < 0.02, respectively). These associations also remained significant (P = 0.04, P = 0.03, respectively) after adjustment for confounding variables. CONCLUSION: DHEAS might be an independent determinant of LVMI and VST. Its effect on the heart may depend on hormonal milieu. In premenopausal women, DHEAS might have androgenic effects and might enhance fibroblast proliferation; while during the postmenopausal period it is dominantly oestrogenic in action, with antiproliferative effect on cardiac cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism