Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study links polycystic ovary syndrome with early vascular changes of heart disease


University of Pittsburgh Researchers note particular risk for women with both metabolic cardiovascular and polycystic ovary syndromes

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder characterized by metabolic and endocrine abnormalities, affects millions of women in the United States alone and endangers their hearts by causing early buildup of calcium in coronary arteries, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health report in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

"Our findings indicate a strong correlation between PCOS, metabolic cardiovascular syndrome and initial evidence of calcium deposits that signal blood vessel disease," said Evelyn Talbott, Dr. P.H., professor of epidemiology and communication science at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the study’s first author. "Given the large number of women with PCOS and the long incubation period for calcium accumulation in coronary arteries, early and aggressive intervention through lifestyle changes and medication may significantly reduce heart disease-related death and illness."

PCOS is a common disorder that affects up to 7 percent of the female population, or about 10 million women in the United States. Some estimates are that as many as 10 percent of reproductive-age women are affected by PCOS. Previously treated on a symptom-by-symptom basis by physicians unaware that a larger and more complicated ailment was present, PCOS today is increasingly being recognized as a lifelong hereditary reproductive endocrine condition with physical and emotional consequences. Common symptoms include infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, excess body hair, ovarian cysts, acne and obesity. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists issued a position paper just weeks ago to raise awareness of the disorder, saying that women with PCOS "are at greatest risk for diabetes and coronary artery disease."

Dr. Talbott’s study involved 61 women with PCOS who underwent noninvasive electron beam tomography scanning of their coronary and abdominal arteries. Results for the 61 women with PCOS were compared with those for control subjects matched for age, race and body weight, and overall values were compared with recorded baseline measurements taken in 1992 and 1993, an average of nine years earlier. The heaviest women were excluded in order to make sure arterial changes correlated most closely with PCOS rather than other risk factors known to be associated with obesity.

"After adjustment for age and body-mass index, PCOS was a significant predictor of coronary-artery calcium deposits," said Dr. Talbott. "Women with PCOS were more than twice as likely to exhibit these subclinical arterial changes – that is, before symptoms appeared."

Women with PCOS who also had metabolic cardiovascular syndrome (MCS), which is associated with insulin resistance, increased waist size and high blood pressure, were found to be at an even greater risk of calcification in coronary and abdominal arteries, the study found. PCOS-affected women were more than four times more likely to have MCS than those in the control group who did not have PCOS. "This is the first study to demonstrate a link between the specific components of MCS in younger women with PCOS and subsequent subclinical coronary atherosclerosis observed at the nine-year follow-up," she added.

Perhaps most interesting, however, was a finding that higher blood levels of testosterone were associated with increased risk of aortic calcifications in all women, whether they had an endocrine disorder or not. Earlier studies have noted such a correlation in women over the age of 55, but this study found a similar link in women in their 40s. "These results are provocative and show the need for further investigation of testosterone and PCOS as the two relate to heart and blood vessel disease in later life," said Dr. Talbott.

Michele D. Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>