Estrogen could be reason for irregular heartbeats in women: study
Other sex hormones had no effect, according to researchers.
By Jim Leffman via SWNS
The sex hormone estrogen could be behind why more women than men suffer from an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia.
Although women generally have better protection against cardiovascular diseases than men, this is not the case when it comes to hereditary diseases causing an abnormal heart rhythm.
Researchers from Linkoping University in Sweden looked at one particular disease called Long QT syndrome LQTS), in which the heart takes longer than normal to finish every heartbeat.
This syndrome is most often due to a congenital hereditary change, or mutation, affecting one of the heart’s ion channels but is relatively rare, affecting around one in 2,500 people.
Ion channels are small pores that go through the cell’s membranes and regulate the flow of electrically charged ions in and out of the cell.
Some ion channels act as an accelerator and others as a brake. Together, they regulate every one of the 2.5 billion heartbeats most of us have during our lives.
Author Sara Liin, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences said: “We’re trying to understand which substances in the body impact the function of the ion channels.
"If we could figure out how this regulation works, maybe we can understand why some individuals are more protected and others are hit harder.”
Using frogs' eggs, the team inserted the human variant of the ion channel into the eggs which do not have this channel.
They added the most active form of the sex hormone estrogen, called estradiol, and measured the ion channel function.
It turned out that ion channel function was hampered by estrogen, which indicates that estrogen may increase the risk of certain types of arrhythmia.
Other sex hormones had no effect.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, went on to discover exactly which parts of the channel were affected by estrogen.
They then further examined ion channel mutations found in families with hereditary arrhythmia syndromes.
Some mutations led to high estrogen sensitivity, while others led to the ion channel completely losing estrogen sensitivity.
Liin said: "We show that some hereditary mutations that reduce ion channel function seem to contribute to high estrogen sensitivity, so there could be two risk factors that interact especially in women carriers of these mutations.
"We believe that our study gives good reason to look closer at this in patients."
The researchers point out that it is important to remember the many positive effects of estrogen, but that in women with a hereditary increased risk of LQTS, estrogen could possibly be a risk factor.
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
Ballet teacher recreates iconic dance routines from movies
“I hope to inspire some guys to dance."
Global population could peak below 9 billion within 30 years
The analysis uses 10 world regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, China and the United States.
Future vaccines could be delivered by a gentle puff of air
Scientists say the medicine being pushed through the skin, with just a little pressure, feels like being "hit with a...
Snacking on walnuts could help prevent heart disease
Cardiovascular disease is the world's number one killer – claiming around 18 million lives a year.
Meet the throuple who hope to marry each other one day
"All of us want to get married, but we don't have a timeline for that yet."
- Work4 days ago
What are the top employee benefits in 2023?
- Pets6 days ago
Half of pet owners consider getting a tattoo of their furry friends: poll
- Health3 days ago
Women reveal reasons why they don’t exercise enough
- Fashion & Beauty1 week ago
Cold weather has major impact on women’s confidence and mood: poll
- Food & Drink1 week ago
Why is hosting dinner at home more stressful than catching a flight?
- Lifestyle5 days ago
Senior got Magic Mike-themed birthday party for her last hoorah
- Animals5 days ago
Australia has discovered another giant spider
- Climate Change6 days ago
How Americans are taking steps toward becoming more sustainable