Hormone-Heart Health Link: 3 Expert Strategies for Lifelong Wellness

Studies have revealed that estrogen plays a vital role in improving the cardiovascular health of women

Daniesha Govender
By Daniesha Govender
Jovan Mijailovic
Edited by Jovan Mijailovic

Updated December 15, 2023.

A man and a woman holding vegetables and giving thumbs up

Hormones significantly impact various physiological systems, including the heart and blood vessels. Evidence shows that postmenopausal women who take estrogen as part of hormone replacement therapy can have up to 50% reduction in cardiovascular events. [1] While this is one example in a specific population, it shows the essential role hormones play in our cardiovascular system.

The relationship between hormones and cardiovascular health is a complex but crucial aspect of overall well-being that needs to be explored more. This article analyzes how hormones like estrogen and testosterone interact with the cardiovascular system.

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Understanding hormones and heart health

Hormones are significant in various physiological systems, including the cardiovascular system.

Hormonal imbalances like insulin resistance can raise the risk of heart disease. It may lead to inflammation, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. [2]

Hormones produced by the heart

Interestingly, the heart itself is an endocrine organ that produces hormones like:

  • Atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP)
  • B-type natriuretic peptides (BNP)

These heart hormones are essential for regulating blood pressure and fluid balance by signaling the kidneys to remove excess salt and water, thereby contributing to cardiovascular health. [3]

Estrogen and heart health

When it comes to cardiovascular health, maintaining balanced estrogen levels is essential.

Estrogen can have a significant impact on cholesterol levels, as it plays a role in the regulation of lipid metabolism. Balanced estrogen levels can help influence [4]:

  • Raising HDL cholesterol
    Lowering LDL cholesterol

This impact of estrogen on cholesterol is beneficial for your heart health as it reduces the risk of arterial plaque buildup.

1. Strategies for estrogen balance

If you're in the peri- or post-menopause stage, regular hormonal check-ups can help you maintain your heart health.

You can manage cholesterol levels through:

Menopause, estrogen, and cardiovascular risks

Menopause is associated with an increased risk of rapid heart rate and palpitations, mainly due to hormonal changes.

Estradiol levels and cardiovascular health

Estradiol, one of three main forms of estrogen, is particularly important for cardiovascular health, and both low and high levels can present risks.

2. Strategies for managing menopausal cardiovascular risks

Stay informed during the peri- and post-menopause stages as your estrogen declines, causing shifts in cholesterol profiles and blood vessel function.

Here is what you need to know: 

  • Active management: Proactively manage and address the hormonal changes experienced during menopause.
  • Adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle: Maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly to support your heart health during this transition.

Not all women experience the same symptoms. Factors such as stress and lifestyle can also play a role.

Testosterone and heart health

Low testosterone in men can sometimes be related to a higher risk of atherosclerosis, which may lead to cardiovascular diseases. [5]

Low serum testosterone levels can increase plaque volume. [6] While testosterone's ability to relax blood vessels could offer cardiovascular protection, this aspect still needs more research.

3. Strategies for balancing testosterone levels

  • Dietary adjustments: Incorporate zinc-rich foods, such as oysters, beef, and spinach. Consume healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Additionally, limit sugar and processed foods intake.
  • Regular exercise: Add resistance training to your routine, but don't overdo it as too much exercise can lower testosterone.
  • Stress management: Prioritize self-care with meditation, deep breathing, and adequate sleep.

Does high testosterone cause high blood pressure?

Although high testosterone levels don't directly cause high blood pressure, extremely high levels coupled with obesity may indirectly contribute to hypertension.

The interplay of hormones, heart, and overall well-being

The relationship between hormones and cardiovascular health is intricate. Maintaining a balanced hormonal profile is crucial for heart health and can often be achieved through a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and a balanced diet.

Additionally, regular consultations with healthcare professionals and personalized advice can further balance your hormone levels and promote lifelong cardiovascular wellness.

With InsideTracker, you can manage your health through comprehensive biomarker analyses, tailored action plans, and unique resources to improve your health.

InsideTracker doesn't diagnose medical conditions. For any health concerns, visit a qualified healthcare professional.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3066827/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36994866/ 

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29859763/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5763482/

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15901202/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28241355/