Author(s): Huang G, Coviello A
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy in premenopausal women. This review discusses the screening, diagnosis and management of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular risk factors associated with PCOS, highlighting significant recent developments.
RECENT FINDINGS: PCOS is a complex genetic disorder with multiple susceptibility genes as well as environmental factors influencing the expression of various PCOS phenotypes. The first genome-wide association study of PCOS identified susceptibility loci on chromosome 2 near the luteinizing hormone receptor gene LHCGR and chromosome 9 near the obesity gene DEEND1A. Women with PCOS are affected by a variety of metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, dyslipidemia and obesity. Recently, it has been established that women with PCOS have a high risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These metabolic disturbances are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Although women with PCOS have higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors and intermediate markers of CVD, studies definitively documenting increased CVD are lacking.
SUMMARY: The high prevalence of metabolic disorders and CVD risk factors in women with PCOS highlights the need for early screening, diagnosis and treatment of these disorders to promote long-term health and possibly prevent CVD.