Medical comorbidity in polycystic ovary syndrome with special focus on cardiometabolic, autoimmune, hepatic and cancer diseases: an updated review

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is defined by hyperandrogenism, irregular menses and polycystic ovaries when other causes are excluded. The possible implication of increased morbidity in PCOS for screening and follow-up is uncertain and is reviewed in this article.

Recent findings

The increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in PCOS is closely associated with BMI. Women with PCOS should be screened for the elements of the metabolic syndrome upon diagnosis. Measurement of HbA1c and the lipid accumulation product could be important tools to differentiate women with high metabolic risk. The immune function in PCOS is impaired with increased secretion of autoantibodies and increased risk of type 1 diabetes, asthma and thyroid disease. The occurrence of thyroid disease could be modified by BMI and D-vitamin status. Screening for diabetes and thyroid disease is part of routine evaluation for endocrine diseases at baseline in PCOS, whereas the necessity of prospective screening for thyroid disease awaits future studies. Especially obese women with PCOS are at an increased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, gall bladder disease and endometrial cancer.

Summary

Recent data support that screening and follow-up in patients with PCOS should be stratified according to BMI.

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