Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2008 Sep;18(7):511-8. Epub 2008 Jul 25.
Insulin resistance and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Galluzzo A, Amato MC, Giordano C.
Section of Endocrinology. Dipartimento di Oncologia Sperimentale e Applicazioni Cliniche, Università degli Studi Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy. email@example.com
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in humans, affecting approximately 7-8% of women of reproductive age.
Despite the criteria adopted, PCOS is considered to be a predominantly hyperandrogenetic syndrome and the evaluation of metabolic parameters and insulin sensitivity is not mandatory.
Most women with PCOS also exhibit features of the metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance, obesity and dyslipidaemia. While the association with type 2 diabetes is well established, whether the incidence of cardiovascular disease is increased in women with PCOS remains unclear.
Acknowledging the strong impact of insulin-resistance in the genesis of PCOS could be helpful not only to make the diagnosis more robust, but also for conferring better cardiovascular risk prevention. Several current studies support a strong recommendation that women with PCOS should undergo comprehensive evaluation for the metabolic syndrome and recognized cardiovascular risk factors, and receive appropriate treatment as needed.
Lifestyle modifications remain the first-line therapy for all obese women with PCOS. However, many of these women do not lose weight easily.
Insulin-sensitizing drugs are discussed as a promising and unique therapeutic option for the chronic treatment of PCOS.