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Abstract Little is known about the relation between serum sex hormones and either coronary heart disease or the development of atherosclerosis in women. We measured serum estrone concentrations in 87 postmenopausal women (age, 50 to 81 years) who were admitted for diagnostic cardiac catheterization. None of the women were on estrogen replacement therapy. Cases (n=62) were defined as those women who had >1 coronary artery with a50% occlusion. All control subjects (n=25) had 0% to 24% occlusion of all coronary arteries. Estrone concentrations, as measured by a combination of extraction, column chromatography, and radioimmunoassay, showed little difference between cases and control subjects. A difference of 6 pg/mL in the estrone level was not associated with a significantly increased risk of coronary artery disease (odds ratio [OR], 1.85; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.60, 5.2). Examination of mean estrone levels on the basis of the number of occluded vessels was also not significant. The primary predictors of coronary artery disease in this population were a history of diabetes (OR, 8.8; CI, 1.5, 51.4) and age (5-year increments; OR, 2.1; CI, 1.2, 3.8). There was also some suggestion that women who reported higher lifetime physical activity levels were at a reduced risk for developing coronary artery disease (OR, 0.18; CI, 0.05, 0.65). These preliminary results do not support the hypothesis that serum estrogens are related to coronary artery disease in older women, but these findings need to be replicated in larger populations of older women. (Arterioscler Thromb. 1994;14:14-18.