South African Medical Journal

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Cholesterol, coronary heart disease and oestrogens

Wulf. H. Utian


Present concepts of the interrelationship between oestrogens, endogenous and exogenous, and the development of atheromatosis and coronalY heart disease in the human female are reviewed. Aspects of research conducted by me at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, are incorporated in the discussion. The current role of oestrogen replacement therapy in the prevention of coronary heart disease in postmenopausal females is presented. It is concluded that although this role at present is limited, there is hope for the development of new oestrogenic steroids with a more specific effect on cholesterol metabolism. Finally, a plea is made for conservatism with ovaries during gynaecological operations on young females.

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