Apr 08 (HeartCenterOnline) – Researchers have uncovered a link between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and heart disease.
PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility in the United States, affecting between 5 and 10 percent of reproductive-aged women. Its causes and treatments are unknown.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that women who suffered from PCOS should be screened automatically for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors, including overweight, insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, that is closely linked to heart disease. Women with PCOS were almost twice as likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome than women without PCOS.
The study also found that women with both conditions exhibited more hormonal and menstrual cycle irregularity than women with PCOS alone.
“Our study highlights the relationship between PCOS, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease,” said senior author John Nestler, M.D., professor of medicine and chair, division of endocrinology and metabolism, at the Medical College of Virginia. “These findings indicate that women with PCOS should automatically be screened for the metabolic syndrome to prevent the risk of early onset cardiovascular disease.”
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