Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Improves Cardiometabolic Function in Young Obese Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    Esra Tasali, Florian Chapotot, Rachel Leproult, Heidi Whitmore, David A. Ehrmann
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    TLDR Treating sleep apnea in young obese women with PCOS can improve heart health and insulin sensitivity.
    In a study from 2011, 19 young obese women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) were treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for 8 weeks, with 9 women adhering to the treatment for an average of 6.6 hours per night. The treatment significantly reduced sleepiness, improved sleep quality, and modestly improved insulin sensitivity by an average of 7%, which was positively correlated with the hours of CPAP use and negatively correlated with Body Mass Index (BMI). CPAP also reduced daytime and nighttime sympathetic activity and daytime diastolic blood pressure without significant changes in weight, body fat percentage, insulin secretion, cortisol, leptin, or testosterone levels. The study concluded that CPAP treatment could offer cardiometabolic benefits to young obese women with PCOS, potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, despite the small sample size and lack of a placebo control group.
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