Polycystic ovary syndrome affects 5 to 10 percent of women in their reproductive years and is a leading cause of infertility. The syndrome is defined by symptoms such as obesity, irregular menstrual cycles, elevated testosterone levels that can cause excess body hair, and ovarian cysts. But perhaps more serious is the high risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among women with PCOS. In fact, women with PCOS have a risk of heart attack seven times the normal.
We talk with Dr. Brad Weinberg, cardiologist with the Indiana Heart Hospital, part of Community Health Network, and Reyna Dodd, whose 21-year-old daughter died of heart disease as a complication of PCOS.
Mrs. Dodd, an educator and advocate for PCOS, describes her daughter’s illness and death of coronary artery disease. Dr. Weinberg explains the recently made connection between PCOS and heart disease. Women at risk have higher blood sugars, hypertension, diabetes, poor cholesterol levels and obesity. Dr. Weinberg advises PCOS patients to pay attention to these accompanying metabolic conditions. He says that at the moment, these problems are what doctors treat.
Click on the links to hear the radio broadcast with Mrs Dodd:
Real Media: http://video.indiana.edu:8080/ramgen/ip/soundmed/2002/091502.rm
Windows Media Player:
(note: There are TWO progams here…the PCOS story is segment #2)
The American Heart Association published a journal report in June 2002 detailing recent research linking PCOS and heart disease.
A MEDLINEplus page with many links to information about PCOS, including research and news about the condition.
The PCOTeen support group is for young women with PCOS. It offers chat, message boards and email lists.