Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Raises Vascular Disease Risk

Insulin resistance, hypertension and dyslipidemia may explain the link

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are at higher risk of vascular disease than eumenorrheic women with polycystic ovary and healthy women, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Cesare Battaglia, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Bologna in Italy, and colleagues conducted a study of 28 women with polycystic ovary syndrome, 17 with normal periods and polycystic ovaries and 15 healthy controls, to assess the effect of the syndrome on vascular health.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome showed significantly higher uterine pulsatility and ophthalmic artery back pressure than the controls. In addition, women with polycystic ovary syndrome had higher total cholesterol, triglycerides and atherogenic plasma indices than women in the other two groups, and also had higher insulin and C-peptide plasma values compared with the controls.

"Insulin resistance is a well-recognized feature of polycystic ovary syndrome and, in association with hypertension and dyslipidemia, may increase the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events," the authors write. "These risk factors are compounded by central obesity, which is present in the majority of women with polycystic ovary syndrome."

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