Chinese Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have 4-fold Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes
A recent study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) revealed that Chinese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at 4-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) compared with those without the disorder, and also have younger onset of diabetes. Experts recommend Chinese PCOS patients to receive regular screening with oral glucose tolerance tests and regular monitoring of blood pressure and lipid to reduce the long term health risks of developing diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases. The findings have been published in the international journal PLOS Medicine.
Women with PCOS have a higher risk of cardiometabolic abnormalities
PCOS is a common gynaecological endocrine disorder affecting 6-12% of women in the reproductive age group. Patients usually present with menstrual irregularities or anovulation. Other clinical symptoms include infertility, and symptoms of androgen excess such as hirsutism and acne. They usually have the ultrasound appearance of multiple tiny cysts in the ovaries. The pathogenesis of the disorder has not been fully elucidated, but some suggest it may be due to the elevated androgens mediated through excess secretion of luteinising hormone or insulin resistance.
Dr. Lai Ping CHEUNG, Clinical Associate Professor (honorary) of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK remarked, “Although PCOS is traditionally viewed as a reproductive disorder, there are increasing research findings and clinical evidence showing that it is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiometabolic disorders, such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and impaired glucose regulation. Patients thus have a higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the long run.”
Study on progression of T2DM in Chinese women with PCOS was missing
CUHK study proves Chinese PCOS patients should pay attention to progressing diabetes risk
|Incidence rate of T2DM (age-standardised rate)|
|PCOS patients||22.12/ 1000 persons/ year|
|Control Group||10.09/ 1000 persons/ year|
|Hong Kong general female population||8.76/ 1000 persons/ year|
Professor Ronald Ching Wan MA urged, “Regular screening with an oral glucose tolerance test is warranted for women with PCOS. It is a standard test recommended by the World Health Organization and international guidelines for PCOS. Regular monitoring of blood pressure, blood lipids and glucose are also recommended. Preventive measures such as lifestyle intervention involving weight reduction, dietary modification and increased physical activity may help reduce their long term health risks of developing diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.”
The study was supported by the Research Grants Council General Research Fund.