Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally for men and women. Premenopausal women have a lower incidence of hypertension and other cardiovascular events than men of the same age, but diminished sex differences after menopause implicates 17-beta-estradiol (E2) as a protective agent. The cardioprotective effects of E2 are mediated by nuclear estrogen receptors (ERα and ERβ) and a G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER). This review summarizes both established as well as emerging estrogen-mediated mechanisms that underlie sex differences in the vasculature during hypertension and CVD. In addition, remaining knowledge gaps inherent in the association of sex differences and E2 are identified, which may guide future clinical trials and experimental studies in this field.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine