Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where women face hormonal disorders. This is very common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones and can face menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, or hair loss from the head. Acne, obesity, and multiple cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries are some other common problems.
Several studies have shown that women with this condition are at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases as they have the tendency to be overweight, have high blood pressure, and have diabetes.
The new study found that women with this hormonal disorder are more likely to develop heart disease. According to the study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 6-20 per cent of women of reproductive age have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
The new study examined whether women with PCOS have a greater likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, and whether the risk persists across the lifespan. Study author Clare Oliver-Williams from the University of Cambridge in the UK assumed that as some PCOS symptoms are only present during the reproductive years, the risk of heart disease might disappear later in life.
60,574 women, receiving treatment to help them get pregnant, were part of the study. Of this, 6,149 or 10.2 per cent had PCOS. The researchers followed the women for nine years (from 1994 to 2015) and studied their medical records.
They found that women with PCOS aged 50 and over did not have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to their peers without PCOS. The study found that women in their 30s and 40s with PCOS were at greater risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk in those under 30 was less clear as there were insufficient women of that age in the study.
If you are among this age group and diagnosed with PCOS, it is important to have your health monitored regularly to prevent long-term health risks associated with the condition.
It is also important to mention that PCOS is a common but treatable cause of infertility in women. The hormonal imbalance can interfere with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation), and cause difficulty in getting pregnant.