Common hormonal disorder linked to heart disease
Polycystic ovary syndrome affects up to 10 per cent of reproductive-age women
Women with a common infertility-related hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop diseased arteries in the heart, according to a recent study.
Some researchers estimate PCOS affects up to 10 per cent of reproductive-age women. Symptoms include infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, excess body hair, acne, obesity and small cysts on the ovaries. The condition is known to increase the risks for diabetes and heart disease.
Now, Evelyn Talbott and her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health have shown that women with PCOS begin to develop calcium deposits in their arteries before they even show symptoms of heart disease.
Talbott says early treatment is therefore needed to reduce the risk for heart disease-related death and illness.
The study involved 61 women with PCOS and 85 women without the condition who were followed for almost 10 years.
After the researchers accounted for other heart disease risk factors such as age and obesity, women with PCOS were more than twice as likely as their healthy counterparts to have calcium deposits in their heart arteries.
What's more, PCOS-affected women were four times more likely than women in the comparison group to have a cluster of heart disease and diabetes risk factors called the metabolic syndrome.
These risk factors include high blood pressure, increased waist size and problems with the hormone insulin.
Women with PCOS who also had the metabolic syndrome were at an even greater risk for calcium buildup in their arteries.
With files from The Medical Post.