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Sex differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD), including aortic stenosis, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular calcification, are well documented. High levels of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular calcification, whilst estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is considered cardioprotective. Current understanding of sexual dimorphism in cardiovascular calcification is still very limited. This review assesses the evidence that the actions of sex hormones influence the development of cardiovascular calcification. We address the current question of whether sex hormones could play a role in the sexual dimorphism seen in cardiovascular calcification, by discussing potential mechanisms of actions of sex hormones and evidence in pre-clinical research. More advanced investigations and understanding of sex hormones in calcification could provide a better translational outcome for those suffering with cardiovascular calcification.


Holly J Woodward, Dongxing Zhu, Patrick W F Hadoke, Victoria E MacRae. Regulatory Role of Sex Hormones in Cardiovascular Calcification. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Apr 28;22(9)

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PMID: 33924852

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