Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease: A Premature Association?

    June 2003 in “Endocrine Reviews
    Richard S. Legro
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    TLDR While PCOS might increase the risk of heart disease, there's not strong evidence to prove it causes earlier heart problems.
    In 2003, Richard S. Legro reviewed the potential link between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The review found that while women with PCOS often have a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome X, which is associated with increased risk for CVD, the link between PCOS and primary cardiovascular events was more speculative than substantive. A long-term follow-up study from the UK involving approximately 800 women with PCOS found no increased death from cardiovascular-related causes, but an increased number of deaths due to diabetes complications. Another study from the University of Pittsburgh followed over 200 cases with PCOS and over 200 controls for a decade, showing an increased trend toward cardiovascular events/disease in the PCOS group. The document concluded that although PCOS may accelerate the development of an adverse cardiovascular-risk profile, the published evidence supporting an earlier presentation of clinical disease was weak.
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