Low steroid levels linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease Full Text
Low levels of a naturally occurring steroid are associated with an increased risk of heart and blood–vessel disease in elderly men, a new study finds. The steroid in question is dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, which is secreted by the adrenal gland and circulates in blood mainly in a sulfated form, DHEA–S. In other tissues, DHEA–S is converted into the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Previous, smaller studies found an association between low DHEA–S levels and heart and blood–vessel, or cardiovascular, disease, although their results were inconclusive. At this time, while we know that DHEA production decreases with age, the exact health effects of its decline are unclear.