Effects of puberty on cardiovascular risk factors

Longitudinal studies of puberty were informative on the effects of endogenous sex hormones on cardiovascular risk factors in children and adolescents. Prepubertal boys and girls do not differ significantly in their serum lipid and lipoprotein levels. In contrast to girls, in whom levels of HDL-C and LDL-C change little with puberty, sexually maturingboys experience a decrease in HDL-C and increases in LDL-C and triglycerides (Bagatell and Bremner 1995). However, these changes may not reflect effects of sex hormones only since they are confounded by other endocrine changes, for example in the growth hormone-IGF1 axis, which also regulates lipoprotein metabolism.

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