Women appear to be protected from cardiovascular disease until the onset of menopause. Considerable evidence supports the atheroprotective effects of endogenous and supplemental estrogens. The beneficial effects of estrogens on lipid metabolism cannot wholly explain this phenomenon. Accumulating data suggest that estrogen may act at the cellular and molecular level to influence atherogenesis. The purpose of this review is to examine lipid-independent mechanisms of estrogen-mediated atheroprotection after cardiovascular injury.