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Parental History of Heart Disease for Women With PCOS

Parents of women with polycystic ovary syndrome more likely to have cardiovascular disease

THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to suffer from chronic cardiovascular diseases than parents of women without the condition, according to a study published online Oct. 4 in PLoS One.

Michael J. Davies, Ph.D., from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues investigated whether parents of young women with PCOS were more likely to have a history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease. A total of 715 women born at a single general hospital between 1973 and 1975 were included in the analysis. Participants were interviewed to assess if they had a pre-existing medical diagnosis of PCOS, and whether their mother or father had ever had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, or heart disease. Medical records from pregnancy for each study participant were used to ascertain whether there had been maternal high blood pressure during pregnancy.

The investigators found that mothers of women with PCOS were nearly twice as likely to have high blood pressure (risk ratio [RR], 1.95), and more likely to have any cardiovascular disease (RR, 1.78) than mothers of other women. Fathers of women with PCOS were more than four times as likely to have had a stroke (RR, 4.37), and more than twice as likely to have heart disease (RR, 2.36) than fathers of other women. The presence of cardiovascular disease in both mother and father correlated with the risk of PCOS in daughters.

"Our results show there is a strong link between cardiovascular disease in both mother and father and the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome in their daughters," says the lead author.

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