Giltay EJ; Verhoef P; Gooren LJ; Geleijnse JM; Schouten EG; Stehouwer CD

Department of Human Nutrition and Epidemiology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8129, Netherlands. [email protected]


Atherosclerosis 2003 May;168(1):139-46 (ISSN: 0021-9150)

Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) levels are on average lower in women versus men, indicating an estrogenic effect. Oral estrogens (absorbed via the liver) may be hypothesized to have stronger effects on hepatic homocysteine metabolism than transdermal estrogens. We randomly assigned 30 male-to-female transsexuals (20-44 years old) to 4 months' administration of oral ethinyl estradiol (n=15) or transdermal 17beta-estradiol (n=15), both with the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate (CA). Ten other male controls were treated with CA only. At baseline and after 2 and 4 months, plasma tHcy was analyzed in conjunction with plasma folate. Oral ethinyl estradiol and transdermal 17beta-estradiol similarly reduced plasma tHcy (geometric mean 10.6 micromol/l [95% CI 8.2-13.9] to 7.5 [6.5; 8.8], and 11.3 [8.1; 16.4] to 8.4 [6.5; 11.1]; P


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