Complications and challenges associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: Current perspectives

Stefano Palomba, Susanna Santagni, Angela Falbo, Giovanni Battista La Sala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) represents the most common endocrine dysfunction in fertile women and it is considered a heterogeneous and multifaceted disorder, with multiple reproductive and metabolic phenotypes which differently affect the early- and long-term syndrome’s risks. Women with PCOS present an adverse reproductive profile, including a high risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes mellitus. Patients with PCOS present not only a higher prevalence of classic cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type-2 diabetes mellitus, but also of nonclassic cardiovascular risk factors, including mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, at the moment, clinical data on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in women with PCOS are controversial. Finally, women with PCOS show an increased risk of endometrial cancer compared to non-PCOS healthy women, particularly during premenopausal period. Currently, we are unable to clarify if the increased PCOS early- and long-term risks are totally due to PCOS per se or mostly due to obesity, in particular visceral obesity, that characterized the majority of PCOS patients. In any case, the main endocrine and gynecological scientific societies agree to consider women with PCOS at increased risk of obstetric, cardiometabolic, oncology, and psychological complications throughout life, and it is recommended that these women be accurately assessed with periodic follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-763
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 31 2015

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infertility
  • PCOS
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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