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Minerva Endocrinologica 2017 December;42(4):340-55

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.17.02609-8

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Is cardiovascular risk in women with PCOS a real risk? Current insights

Georgios PAPADAKIS 1, Eleni KANDARAKI 2, Olga PAPALOU 3, Andromachi VRYONIDOU 2, Evanthia DIAMANTI‑KANDARAKIS 3

1 STEPS Stoffwechselzentrum, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland; 2 Department of Endocrinology, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece; 3 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Euroclinic Hospital, Athens, Greece


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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in reproductive aged women. PCOS incorporates not only symptoms related to the reproductive system but also a clustering of systemic metabolic abnormalities that are linked with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). More specifically, metabolic aberrations such as impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, accompanied by increased low-grade inflammation as well as elevated coagulation factors appear to contribute to the increased cardiovascular risk. Even though many studies have indicated a rise in surrogate biomarkers of CVD in women with PCOS, it is still doubtful to what extent and magnitude this elevation can be translated to real cardiovascular events. Furthermore, the cardiovascular risk factors appear to vary significantly in the different phenotypes of the syndrome. Women with PCOS have the potential for early atherosclerosis, myocardial and endothelial dysfunction. Whether PCOS women are at real cardiovascular risk compared to controls remains between the verge of theoretical and real threat for the PCOS women at any age but particularly in the post-menopausal state. Interestingly, although the presence of the CVD risk factors is well documented in PCOS women, their combination on different phenotypes may play a role, which eventually results in a spectrum of clinical manifestations of CVD with variable degree of severity. The present manuscript aims to review the interaction between PCOS and the combination of several cardiovascular risk factors.


KEY WORDS: Polycystic ovary syndrome - Cardiovascular system - Risk factors

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