Endothelial Dysfunction in PCOS: Role of Obesity and Adipose Hormones

    April 2006 in “The American Journal of Medicine
    Enrico Carmina, Francesco Orio, Stefano Palomba, Rosa Alba Longo, Teresa Cascella, Annamaria Colao, Gaetano Lombardi, Giovam Battista Rini, Rogerio A. Lobo
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    TLDR Women with PCOS have heart-related issues not because of obesity, but due to insulin resistance and low adiponectin levels.
    In the 2006 study involving 100 young women—50 with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and 50 ovulatory controls—researchers found that those with PCOS exhibited signs of endothelial dysfunction, such as increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and decreased brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD). These women also had higher fasting insulin levels, greater insulin resistance as indicated by lower QUICKI scores, and lower adiponectin levels, while leptin and resistin levels were comparable to controls. Notably, the study revealed that these endothelial abnormalities were not correlated with body mass index (BMI) or waist/hip ratios but were associated with insulin resistance and adiponectin levels. This suggests that insulin resistance and low adiponectin are significant factors in the cardiovascular risks linked to PCOS, independent of obesity.
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