Health Alert: PCOS Women With Metabolic Syndrome Face New Risks

A new study shows that reversing metabolic syndrome with weight loss via a healthy diet and regular exercise is even more crucial for women with PCOS.
Heart-damaging metabolic syndrome is a classic symptom of PCOS … and woman with both conditions are at a hitherto unrecorded higher risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), which dramatically raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.
While most studies of metabolic syndrome have looked at the link with coronary artery disease and stroke, this report is among the first to look at the risk of developing PAD.
Using data on more than 27,000 women taking part in the Women’s Health Study, researchers identified participants with metabolic syndrome, which can feature a collection of often PCOS-linked symptoms like abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL “good” cholesterol, high LDL “bad” cholesterol, high triglyceride levels and insulin resistance.
Women were considered to have metabolic syndrome if they had three or more of those symptoms, resulting in a 62% increased risk of developing PAD, compared to those without the condition. Each metabolic syndrome symptom raised the risk of PAD by 20%.
About 8 million Americans have PAD, which typically affects the arteries in the pelvis and legs. Symptoms include cramping and pain or tiredness in the hip muscles and legs when walking or climbing stairs, although not everyone with PAD is symptomatic.
The study also found that women with metabolic syndrome and PAD had higher levels of two markers of heart-damaging inflammation, namely high sensitivity C-reactive protein and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1.
The study appeared in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Next Steps

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