A Cause of Female Infertility May Up Heart Risk
Researchers See Link Between PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome
WebMD News Archive
About Metabolic Syndrome
Insulin resistance is also linked to metabolic syndrome, which can affect
men or women. Patients have at least three of the following traits:
- Waist size of more than 40 inches in men or 35 inches in women
- Triglyceride blood levels of 150 or greater
- HDL ("good") cholesterol less than 40 in men or less than 50 in
- Blood pressure of 130/85 or more
- Fasting blood sugar of 100 or more
Are the Conditions Connected?
Participants with PCOS and metabolic syndrome had higher testosterone levels
than those without metabolic syndrome.
They also showed signs of the metabolic syndrome more frequently and may
have had more severe insulin resistance.
Age and obesity didn't change the results. Though the women were 20-39 years
old, their prevalence of metabolic syndrome was typical of women almost twice
"The prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome in our women with PCOS was
comparable to the 44% rate reported for women aged 60-69 in the general
population," write John Nestler, MD, and colleagues.
Nestler leads the Medical College of Virginia's division of endocrinology
and metabolism. He has devoted much of his career to studying PCOS.
The study included a relatively small number of PCOS patients, and the
researchers didn't have all the data they wanted, since the study was
Waist measurements -- a component of metabolic syndrome -- weren't known for
all the women, so BMI (body mass index) was used instead. Formal analysis of
excess hair patterns in women with PCOS weren't available, and insulin
resistance wasn't directly measured.
Possibly, some women may have misremembered their menstrual irregularities
or family medical histories, say the researchers.
Still, they say the findings are significant since the women weren't
handpicked and the rate of metabolic syndrome was high.