Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Important Underrecognised Cardiometabolic Risk Factor in Reproductive-Age
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder amongst women of reproductive age. Although PCOS is diagnosed exclusively based on reproductive criteria, it is also a metabolic disorder. Insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dyslipidemia are more common in women with PCOS than in age-comparable women without PCOS. Many of the metabolic abnormalities that manifest in PCOS are worsened by the concurrent incidence of obesity. However, some of these metabolic perturbations occur even in lean women with PCOS and therefore are rightfully recognized as intrinsic to PCOS. The intrinsic factors that produce these metabolic disturbances are reviewed in this paper. The consequences of obesity and the other metabolic aberrations are also discussed. The metabolic perturbations in PCOS patients lead to chronic low-grade inflammation and to cardiovascular impairments that heighten the risk of having cardiovascular disease. Even though many studies have shown an elevation in surrogate biomarkers of cardiovascular disease in PCOS women, it is still not clear to what extent and magnitude the elevation precipitates more frequent and earlier events.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Important Underrecognised Cardiometabolic Risk Factor in Reproductive-Age Women Int J Endocrinol. 2015 June