Background: Amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has a well-documented prognostic value for cardiovascular disease and sex-hormones are suggested to modulate NT-proBNP levels.
Objective: To examine whether endogenous sex-hormones and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) are associated with NT-proBNP levels in postmenopausal women free of clinical cardiovascular diseases. Methods: Total estradiol (E2), total testosterone (TT), androstenedione (AD), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and NT-proBNP were assessed in 4112 postmenopausal women free of cardiovascular diseases from the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study. Free androgen index (FAI) was calculated as ratio of TT to SHBG concentration. TT, AD, DHEA(S), SHBG, FAI and NT-proBNP were natural log transformed. Regression coefficients and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariable linear regression models adjusting for confounders.
Results: In models adjusted for multiple confounders (age, reproductive, life style and cardiovascular risk factors) higher SHBG (per 1 SD increase, β = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.12, 0.18), and lower levels of TT (per 1 SD increase, β = −0.05, 95%CI = −0.08, −0.02), FAI (per 1 SD increase, β = −0.13, 95%CI = −0.15, −0.09), DHEAS (per 1 SD increase, β = −0.06, 95% CI = −0.09, −0.04) and DHEA (per 1 SD increase, β = −0.06, 95%CI = −0.09, −0.04) were associated with higher levels of NT-proBNP. However, no consistent association was found between E2 and AD and NT-proBNP levels. Additionally, stratification by BMI did not affect any of observed associations.
Conclusion: Our findings support the hypothesis that higher androgens might be associated with lower natriuretic peptide levels in postmenopausal women.

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International Journal of Cardiology
Department of Epidemiology

Glisic, M., Rojas, L., Asllanaj, E., Vargas, K. G., Kavousi, M., Ikram, K., … Franco, O. (2018). Sex steroids, sex hormone-binding globulin and levels of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in postmenopausal women. International Journal of Cardiology. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.03.008