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Minerva Endocrinologica 2007 March;32(1):35-47

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Polycystic ovarian syndrome: the commonest cause of hyperandrogenemia in women as a risk factor for metabolic sindrome

Diamanti-Kandarakis E., Christakou C., Kandarakis H. A.

Endocrine Section First Department of Medicine Laiko General Hospital University of Athens Medical School Athens, Greece


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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the commonest endocrine disorder of women, is currently emerging as a potential facet of the metabolic syndrome (MBS) in women. Available data suggest that the MBS or, alternatively, individual metabolic risk factors may be overly present and most importantly that MBS may arise at a significantly younger age among PCOS women. The concept that a conventionally considered reproductive disorder may entail a significant metabolic impact on affected women has warranted medical interest on the mechanisms underlying the multiplicative sequelae of PCOS. Although obesity indisputably compounds the clinical course of women with PCOS, this appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia have been intuitively involved as a critical link due to their contribution to the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of both PCOS and MBS. Hyperandrogenemia, the predominant endocrine hallmark of PCOS, has also been implicated as a contributing factor to the suggested interrelationship.

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