Fertility vs Heart Health?

September 18, 2016 | Press Releases & Announcements

CUNY School of Public Health

Mary Schooling

Professor C Mary Schooling co-authors “Endogenous androgen exposures and ischemic heart disease, a separate sample Mendelian randomization study.

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. To fill this gap Professor Schooling is taking an inter-disciplinary approach and applying theories from other disciplines, specifically 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 major causes of death. On this basis dietary restriction is already being heavily investigated as a means of promoting longevity and reducing cardiovascular disease. Professor Schooling is focusing on the other 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.

In summary, Professor Schooling says, “This study offers convincing proof-of-concept for the theory that the male reproductive axis trades-off against ischemic heart disease. The next step is to find modifiable drivers of the reproductive axis that can provide new ways of preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. Such targets of intervention are currently under active investigation by the team.”

 

Zhao JV, Schooling CM, Endogenous androgen exposures and ischemic heart disease, a separate sample Mendelian randomization study, Int J Cardiology, epub 29th July 2016