A theory of eu-estrogenemia: A unifying concept

Ralph J. Turner, Irwin J. Kerber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of the study was to propose a unifying theory for the role of estrogen in postmenopausal women through examples in basic science, randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and clinical practice. Methods: Review and evaluation of the literature relating to estrogen. Discussion: The role of hormone therapy and ubiquitous estrogen receptors after reproductive senescence gains insight from basic science models. Observational studies and individualized patient care in clinical practice may show outcomes that are not reproduced in randomized clinical trials. The understanding gained from the timing hypothesis for atherosclerosis, the critical window theory in neurosciences, randomized controlled trials, and numerous genomic and nongenomic actions of estrogen discovered in basic science provides new explanations to clinical challenges that practitioners face. Consequences of a hypo-estrogenemic duration in women's lives are poorly understood. The Study of Women Across the Nation suggests its magnitude is greater than was previously acknowledged. We propose that the healthy user bias was the result of surgical treatment (hysterectomy with oophorectomy) for many gynecological maladies followed by pharmacological and physiological doses of estrogen to optimize patient quality of life. The past decade of research has begun to demonstrate the role of estrogen in homeostasis. Conclusions: The theory of eu-estrogenemia provides a robust framework to unify the timing hypothesis, critical window theory, randomized controlled trials, the basic science of estrogen receptors, and clinical observations of patients over the past five decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1097
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Critical window theory
  • Healthy user bias
  • Hormone therapy
  • Women's Health Initiative
  • eu-estrogenemia
  • timing Hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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