PCOS Articles - PCOS & YOUR HEART--Woman's Day Article November Issue

10-25-2003, 04:01 AM
Wow..just read a very interesting article in my new Woman's Day December issue. I will type it out here...


For many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), getting pregnant is an overriding concern. This disorder affects about 8% of women of childbearing age and can cause infertility. But a new study suggests that women with PCOS should also pay attention to their hearts.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found that PCOS speeds up atherosclerosis, when fatty material called plaque accumulates in the arteries. The scientists compared plaque levels in three groups of women between 30 & 45 years of age: PCOS patients (who tend to be obese); women without PCOS who were obese; and healthy-weight women without PCOS.

"The women with PCOS had more plaque than any of the other women. This put their heart-disease risk at two and a half times that of other obese women and six times that of healthy-weight women," says the study's lead author, Rose Christian, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology at the University Of Wisconsin, Madison.

The women with PCOS also had the highest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to plaque build-up. As plaque accumulates, the artrery walls harden and narrow, and the heart receives less oxygen-rich blood. This leads to coronary artery disease, which can cause chest pain and even cardiac arrest or congestive heart failure.

"When diagnosed with PCOS, a woman should be closely watched for heart problems," advises Dr. Christian. Have your blood pressure and lipid levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) checked regularly. Meanwhile, exercise consistently and follow a lowfat diet. Keeping weight down is very important. When weight goes up, everything associated with PCOS gets worse," says Dr. Christian.

WOW...I'm speechless. I had to pass this on to you girls!!!

10-25-2003, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the article noodles. Just one more reason to get healthy and stay that way!!

Jennifer 3FC
11-04-2003, 11:37 PM
Thanks for sharing! I would also like to add to this by saying a low cholesterol does NOT mean you are not at risk. My father has never had a cholesterol test above 150 and his triglycerides have always been good, and he had 5 blockages a couple of years ago and required open heart surgery for a triple bypass.

Have you ever seen anybody after this? They are totally drained and weak for a long time. My father was pale and sick and weak for weeks. I had to help him walk. My mother had to bathe him for weeks because he didn't have the energy to shower once he got his clothes off. He could hardly eat and he always slept. It is a painful, near death experience and it is horrifying and traumatic for you as well as your family.

If you have PCOS, please take this seriously and eat healthy and exercise regularly! You may have no warning signs at all!

Suzanne 3FC
11-04-2003, 11:44 PM
Well here is some encouraging news for treatment..

New treatment works like 'liquid Drano for arteries'
Experiment injected 'good' cholesterol into heart patients

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) --Intravenous doses of a synthetic component of "good" cholesterol reduced artery disease in just six weeks in a small study with startlingly big implications for treating the nation's No. 1 killer.

"The concept is sort of liquid Drano for the coronary arteries," said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who led the study.

Larger and longer studies need to be done to determine if the experimental treatment will translate into fewer deaths, but the early results are promising, said Dr. Daniel Rader, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The treatment used a laboratory-produced version of an unusually effective form of HDL, the good cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease by removing plaque, or fatty buildups, from the bloodstream.

"This is clearly on the level of a breakthrough that will have far-reaching implications," pointing the way toward a rapid treatment for fatty buildups, said Dr. Bryan Brewer, chief of molecular diseases at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The surprisingly quick results, though preliminary, shatter a long-standing belief that heart disease is a slow-progressing disease that takes a long time to undo, said Rader, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

While some existing medicines target HDL, most conventional drug treatment works by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad kind that contributes to the formation of plaques that can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks.

Nissen's study is part of a burgeoning area of research that focuses on treatments that raise HDL levels or improve HDL's plaque-fighting abilities.

Fighting plaque buildup
His findings stem from an unusual discovery about 25 years ago in the northern Italian village of Limone Sul Gardia. Italian researchers found that 40 residents there had very low HDL levels, yet paradoxically had low rates of coronary artery disease.

Lab tests revealed a likely explanation: All had a gene variation in a key protein component of HDL. The variation contributed to larger-than-normal HDL particles, which is believed to make HDL cholesterol especially efficient at removing plaque.

Scientists made a synthetic form of the protein, which was found to reduce plaque buildups rapidly in mice and rabbits.

The product was first tested and shown to be safe for use in humans. This latest round of experiments is the first time the substance has been used to actually treat narrowing of the arteries in people.

The study was funded by Esperion Therapeutics Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a small biotechnology company that makes the product.

In the study, 36 patients who had had heart attacks or severe chest pain received weekly intravenous infusions of the substance for five weeks. Eleven patients received dummy treatments.

At six weeks, imaging tests showed the patients receiving the synthetic protein had a visible 4 percent reduction in plaque buildup in their coronary arteries. There was no significant change in the placebo group.

Rader called the results "surprising to even the most optimistic supporters" of using HDL to treat narrowing of the arteries.

Nissen said he envisions the treatment being used in combination with other therapy including LDL-lowering drugs, but that commercial use is probably a few years off and will depend on the outcome of larger studies.

I wish I could have my arteries checked.

11-05-2003, 02:30 AM
You are so right Jennifer...

My aunt...age 36...Sept. 9, 1992. Went with her friend to do their daily "Mall walking". She felt funny...she asked for an Orange Juice...(thought maybe her blood sugar was low). Drank it..then hit the floor. Died. Reason? Heart attack. She was 3 weeks shy of her 37th birthday. In great health, took care of herself, I think the only bad thing she did was smoke. But that made a difference... So you just never know.

Jennifer 3FC
11-05-2003, 11:38 PM
Wow, scary. I'm 35! Ya just don't hear about people this age having heart attacks.

11-07-2003, 03:17 AM
Yea..we were all in shock. She passed on a Wed. and we had until FRIDAY to get to Texas from Southern California. What a drive that was!! I got stuck in a van with 12 smokers. I was the only non-smoker. I got pnuemonia..etc. Blah...I flew home from that trip! No way was I going to ride back with all of those people.

Now you would think after this my family members would change their lifestyle...Nope. None of them have. They all started to smoke worse...eat worse...etc. **shakes head** All of them but me. I guess you can say Im the "Black Sheep". hehehehe

01-22-2004, 10:02 PM
You're doing the right thing, Noodles, as I'm sure you know. I've lost most of my relatives to lung cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. There were 48 relatives alive in the '60's, now there are 3. And they died in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. All but two smoked like chimneys-- my grandmother, who made it to age 84, and my greatgrandfather, who made it to 96. He didn't smoke, and he used to walk to town and back every day, about 4 miles. A big hint in there, I'd say.

The cholesterol problem is certainly true for me: it was 225 last year, and I'm just 47. I hope the results of this year's test are better.

01-22-2004, 11:34 PM
Thanks!! I'm trying! I don't want to wind up like them. I've always told myself that ever since I was a little girl..."When *I* grow up, *I* will not be like my family." And I'm not and I'm proud to be the "Black Sheep" so to speak. :lol: