Eleni Armeni and Irene Lambrinoudaki* Pages 579 - 590 ( 12 )
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrinopathies affecting women of reproductive age. The hormonal alterations of PCOS have been linked with a higher risk of metabolic disturbances in young, reproductively active women. However, it remains to be clarified whether the presence of PCOS increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. Aging ameliorates the clinical manifestations of PCOS; hyperandrogenaemia and metabolic abnormalities, however, persist beyond the menopause. On the other hand, aging and menopause increase CVD risk in the general female population. The results of the limited available studies in aging women with a previous diagnosis of PCOS demonstrate early atherosclerosis. However, studies addressing clinical CVD outcomes in women with PCOS report inconsistent findings. A possible explanation for this heterogeneity is the difficulty in diagnosing PCOS after the menopausal transition, due to the absence of validated diagnostic criteria for this population. Larger prospective studies of women diagnosed during their reproductive years will shed more light on the longer-term CVD implications of PCOS.
Cardiovascular risk, menopause, PCOS, MetS, dyslipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, subclinical atherosclerosis, clinical cardiovascular disease.
Menopause Clinic, 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Menopause Clinic, 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens