Women with PCOS are nearly twice as likely to suffer from atherosclerosis (plaque deposits in the arteries), than women without the syndrome, according to a new study. Atherosclerosis sharply increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

“The implication is that a common condition thought to be primarily a gynecological problem may predispose women to heart disease,” says Dr. Paul Hardiman a Senior Lecturer in obstetrics and gynecology and lead author of the study by the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London.

Women who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome often look to menopause for a lessening of their symptoms, thinking that, as their child-bearing years come to an end, their PCOS will disappear with their ovulatory cycles. But this is not the case.

 

 

 

Test TubesCoronary heart disease is the largest killer of men and women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Research links Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, one of the most common causes of infertility, with multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease, Diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

Women with PCOS often have elevated levels of LDL “bad”cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and of course, Insulin Resistance, which is an underlying cause of PCOS.

Insulin Resistance can increase a person’s risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Previous research has estimated that these factors can cause up to a seven-fold increase in risk for heart attack for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom, compared to those without it.

In the London study, there was no significant difference in age or in total cholesterol, whether HDL “good” or LDL “bad” cholesterol, among the groups taking part. However, compared to women with normal ovaries, those with PCOS had significantly higher weight, blood pressure and insulin levels.

Numerous previous studies have found that Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, with its symptomatic disorders of high blood pressure (hypertension), excessive fat tissue in and around the abdominal area, blood fat disorders (high triglycerides and low HDL), Hyperandrogenism (elevated levels of male hormones) and Insulin Resistance – put sufferers at higher risk of developing future serious, life-threatening health conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a broad term that describes any disorder that can impact the functioning of the heart muscle itself or the cardiovascular system. Conditions that contribute to heart disease include: high blood pressure, Cardiovascular Disease, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries caused by calcium deposits), atherosclerosis and more.

Blood SampleChronic high levels of glucose and insulin are classic symptoms of Insulin Resistance and PCOS.

Insulin is produced in your pancreas and released into the circulatory system where it is the key to the absorption of glucose by your cells. If your cells resist insulin, both insulin and glucose build up in your blood. Excess insulin leads to weight gain and high blood pressure. As insulin comes in contact with the interior wall of the arteries, it damages the tissue, causing the initial injury that produces plaque. Therefore, having Insulin Resistance and PCOS directly cause negitive changes in the blood lipids and overall cardiovascular health.

Recommendations for reducing heart disease risk are the same as those for reducing Insulin Resistance: decreasing insulin levels, balancing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure to either better manage the symptoms of PCOS and reverse the condition completely to minimize current symptoms. This can be done through careful food choices, exercise and weight loss in both overweight and lean individuals as well as women of normal weight.

But a multi-faceted approach is clearly necessary to address all the symptoms of these conditions. A complete system, is required to address these issues. This system should include nutraceuticals (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and botanicals formulated to address specific conditions), a realistic exercise program, nutritional guidance and a support network that will help you change unhealthy lifestyle.

Click here to read about the scientific breakthrough called the Insulite PCOS System which helps to reverse Insulin Resistance.

You may be interested in some of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PCOS and the Insulite PCOS System.

 

Click here to read about PCOS and Cancer