Polycystic ovaries can lead to coronary artery calcification, says University of Pittsburgh

April 26, 2002

HONOLULU, April 26 - Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at risk for premature calcification in their coronary arteries - an early indication of cardiovascular disease - according to Evelyn O. Talbott, Dr.P.H., professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. However, controlling weight and insulin sensitivity may reduce the risk.

PCOS, characterized by menstrual irregularities, chronic anovulation, excess hair growth and infertility, is a common reproductive endocrine disorder affecting five percent of the female population. Women with PCOS also experience several metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, increased circulating insulin levels, abnormal blood lipid levels and increased central obesity ("apple body shape"). Until recently, PCOS was not recognized as a single, multi-dimensional disorder. Women suffering from it were instead treated for individual symptoms, particularly irregular menstrual periods and infertility.

"Preliminary results from our study suggest an association between the metabolic abnormalities experienced by women with PCOS, collectively termed metabolic Syndrome X or metabolic cardiovascular syndrome, and premature atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries," said Dr. Talbott. Coronary calcium deposits are an indicator of early, subclinical cardiovascular disease.

In the study, researchers used electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) to scan coronary arteries of 41 women with PCOS, and 43 controls. Their average age was 47. Scans showed an increased prevalence of coronary artery calcification among women with PCOS, with 65.9 percent of women with PCOS showing coronary calcium deposits, compared with 34.9 percent of women in the control group.

The excess calcification among women with PCOS was shown to be related to increased circulating insulin concentrations, low HDL cholesterol levels (the "good" cholesterol) and increased waist circumference. These results suggest to Dr. Talbott that women with PCOS may be able to reduce their risk of coronary artery disease by addressing specific components of the metabolic cardiovascular syndrome.

"These results highlight the need to reduce central obesity and improve insulin sensitivity in young women with PCOS. Dietary intervention and exercise in the teens and 20s, coupled with the use of insulin-sensitizing agents in select individuals, may help to prevent adverse cardiovascular outcomes, such as angina and heart attack, in later life," said Dr. Talbott.

####


CONTACT:

Kathryn Duda
Frank Raczkiewicz
PHONE: 412-624-2607
FAX: 412-624-3184
E-MAIL:
DudaK@msx.upmc.edu
RaczkiewiczFA@msx.upmc.edu

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

Fighting cardiovascular disease with acne drug
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Stanford University have found the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy - a leading cause of heart failure - and identified a potential treatment for it: a drug already used to treat acne.

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).

Read More: Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.