Young, Obese Women with PCOS at Risk for Coronary Atherosclerosis


January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008 – Young, obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be at increased risk for early subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, independent of the presence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and novel inflammatory risk markers, according to a study by researchers at the University of Iowa published in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The study involved 24 women, between 21 and 50 years of age, with PCOS and a body mass index of 30 or higher, and 24 weight- and age-matched controls without PCOS. Eight of 24 PCOS subjects, or 33 percent, and two of 24 controls, or 8 percent, were diagnosed with coronary artery calcium, an indicator of early-onset atherosclerosis.

Additionally, researchers found that the majority of women with detectable coronary artery calcium did not have traditional cardiovascular risk factors “and the presence of PCOS status per se appeared to contribute to this increased risk of coronary artery calcium,” said Rupal Shroff, M.D., one of the researchers at University of Iowa.

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