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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY Faculty Investigates the Relationship of Hormones and Heart Disease

Dr. Mary Schooling, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleague examined how genetic determinants of up-regulation (follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)) and down-regulation (anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS)) of mainly the male reproductive system are associated with ischemic heart disease. The findings were published in the International Journal of Cardiology.

[Dr. C. Mary Schooling]

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Over the last 50 years, progress has been made in reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in the West, but cardiovascular disease rates are rising with global economic development. Despite its prevalence, cardiovascular disease remains poorly understood.

Dr. Schooling and her colleague took an inter-disciplinary approach by applying theories from evolutionary biology, to generate new ideas about tackling the leading cause of death. According to evolutionary biology, growth and reproduction should trade-off against longevity and thereby be major causes of death. The colleagues focused on the possibility that suppressing the reproductive axis may protect against major chronic diseases. This paper shows using very large case-control studies that people with a genetically less active male reproductive axis have a lower risk of ischemic heart disease. The next step is to find environmental drivers of the male reproductive axis which can be used as new interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease.