Context: Sex hormones may influence sex differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD). N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a predictor of CVD, is higher in women than men, which may relate to sex hormones. Objective: To evaluate whether total testosterone (T), bioavailable T, free T, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and SHBG are associated with NT-proBNP. Design: Cohort study. Participants: Cross-sectional sample included 2371 postmenopausal women and 2688 men free of CVD, of which 2041 women and 2348 men were included longitudinally. Main Outcome Measures: NT-proBNP at baseline (2000 to 2002) and one or more repeat NT-proBNPs (through 2012). Analyses adjusted for CVD risk factors. Results: Women had higher NT-proBNP than men (median 79.9 vs 38.5 pg/mL). Cross-sectionally, higher bioavailable T, free T, DHEA, and lower SHBG levels were independently associated with lower NT-proBNP among both women and men (all P, 0.05). Higher total T in women and estradiol in men were also associated with lower NT-proBNP (both P, 0.05). Longitudinally, in women, higher total T, bioavailable T, free T, DHEA, and lower estradiol and SHBG were associated with greater 10-year increase in NT-proBNP (all P, 0.05). In men, higher free T and estradiol were associated with greater NT-proBNP increase (both P, 0.05). Conclusions: A more androgenic sex hormone pattern was inversely associated with NT-proBNP cross-sectionally and may contribute to sex differences in NT-proBNP. Longitudinally, a more androgenic sex hormone pattern was associated with greater increase in NT-proBNP in women, which may reflect a mechanism for CVD risk after menopause.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical