"The Heart of the Matter"

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Week: 557.3 Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Ginsburg, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Topic: Study links alcohol to estrogen circulation Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Alcohol and estrogen....coming up....

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association...fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: When post menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy drink alcohol, one study shows higher breast cancer risk...others say estrogen and alcohol reduce heart disease risk. In Boston, a Brigham and Women's Hospital study found blood estrogen levels soared as blood alcohol increased... Dr. Elizabeth Ginsburg...

GINSBURG: By 20 minutes after they began drinking, estrogen levels had more than doubled. By the time they had the complete drink in their system, about 50 minutes into the study, that's when estrogen levels peaked at levels over three-fold higher than the baseline.

NEMA: Dr. Ginsburg is looking for the reasons...

GINSBURG: Part of the mechanism, we think, is that the estrogens that the women are taking in isn't getting broken down appropriately. There's probably some kind of release of estrogen into the circulation from some part of the body, we don't really know where. There may be something about alcohol that causes the body either to absorb more estrogen, or to somehow release it into the circulation.

NEMA: Dr. Ginsburg says patients have to weigh the chance their breast cancer risk will go up against the benefits of lower heart disease from the estrogen and alcohol. I'm Steve Girard for The Heart of the Matter!


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