Oestrogen is known to play a cardioprotective role in cardiovascular diseases, as demonstrated in a number of animal studies. However, few human studies have investigated sex-based differences with regard to cardiac glucose uptake using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG–PET/CT).
Therefore, we evaluated healthy male and female subjects who underwent FDG–PET/CT examination to determine whether there was a sex-related difference in cardiac glucose uptake with age.
In females, the prevalence of maximal FDG uptake (PET score 2) demonstrated a convex pattern with ageing, and it peaked at age 51–60 years in the females, gradually decreasing to a minimum at age >70 years. In contrast, the prevalence of maximal FDG uptake by age in males was a mirror image of that in females, i.e. it formed a concave pattern with a nadir at 61–70 years, followed by an increase in the prevalence. These findings suggest that female hearts depend more on glucose as an energy substrate as they age, however, efficient glucose uptake is attenuated with increasing age. In contrast, the male heart sustains its glucose uptake capacity at age >70 years.
This characteristic sex-based difference in cardiac glucose uptake might be related to the female predominance of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
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Published online: April 01, 2013
Accepted: March 13, 2013
Received in revised form: January 17, 2013
Received: October 17, 2012
© 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.