Women with PCOS run an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, with the latter condition’s classic symptoms, including obesity, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, perhaps posing an even greater danger to the heart than previously recognized.
Shocking new figures show about 25% of American adults have metabolic syndrome, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
In a new analysis, researchers examined more than 70 recent studies that included a total of nearly one million patients. Both men and women with metabolic syndrome were shown to be up to 2.5 times more likely to die of heart-related causes and to have heart disease, a heart attack or stroke, compared to people without the syndrome. In addition, metabolic syndrome patients had a 50% greater risk of death during the study follow-up period.
As if that weren’t bad enough, metabolic syndrome also greatly raises the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, which, in turn, is a severely increased risk factor for blindness, kidney disease and the need for amputation.
“Our study suggests that the association between metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular outcomes is even stronger than previously suspected,” said study author Dr. Mark Eisenberg, a professor of medicine in the divisions of cardiology and clinical epidemiology at Jewish General Hospital/McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
“It firmly reinforces the urgent need to aggressively combat metabolic syndrome in order to reduce and perhaps even prevent heart disease and improve survival,” he added.
Fortunately, the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, like those of PCOS, can be greatly improved by lifestyle changes involving a balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise to lose weight.