Hospital da Luz Physician Researches Why Female Hormones Cause Thrombosis and Cardiovascular Diseases

A multidisciplinary team directed by Paulo Luiz Farber, Hospital da Luz Aveiro physician, discovered one of the reasons why female hormones can be benign or cause thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases. The results of this study, conducted by researchers of the Biochemical Laboratory of the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, were published in the April edition of “Clinical Hemorheological and Microcirculation”, a renowned scientific publication.

The investigation consisted in adding increasing doses of female hormones, natural and artificial, to men’s blood and measure two main alterations in red cells related with blood flow: aggregation (blood cells tend to stay together) and deformation capacity (under pressure). 

“Aggregation did not change, but deformation capacity did, although not with all dosages, only in specific doses”, explains Paulo Luiz Farber. In the case of artificial hormones, they behaved similarly to natural ones, improving blood flow only in a specific concentration. This led to the conclusion that “hormones alter the deformation capacity of blood cells, according to dosage”. The discovery, stresses the specialist, can explain why the lack of natural hormones in menopause is susceptible of causing thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases in women, while normal hormone concentration protects them against these problems.

Read the abstract