Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Jun;1135:85-94. Links
Menstrual health and the metabolic syndrome in adolescents.
Tfayli H, Arslanian S.
Director, Weight Management and Wellness, and Director, Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213. Silva.Arslanian@chp.edu.
The metabolic syndrome, a constellation of interrelated risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus, has become a major public health concern against the backdrop of increasing rates of obesity. Insulin resistance plays a pivotal role as the underlying pathophysiological linchpin of the various components of the syndrome.
The metabolic syndrome is well recognized in adults, and there is convincing evidence that it starts in childhood, with progressive clustering of the various components over time and tracking through adulthood.
Adult women and adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have higher prevalence rates of the metabolic syndrome compared with the general population.
Several anthropometric (obesity, particularly abdominal obesity), metabolic (insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia, dyslipidemia) and hormonal (low IGFBP1, IGFBP2 and low sex hormone binding globulin) features of adolescents with PCOS are also features of the metabolic syndrome.
Insulin resistance, believed to be a key pathogenic factor in both PCOS and the metabolic syndrome, may be the thread that links the two conditions.
Menstrual health in adolescents could be viewed as yet another component in the evaluation of the metabolic syndrome.
Careful assessment of menstrual history and appropriate laboratory work-up could reveal the presence of PCOS in obese at-risk adolescent girls with a family history of the metabolic syndrome.