"Our findings indicate a strong correlation between PCOS, metabolic cardiovascular syndrome and initial evidence of calcium deposits that signal blood vessel disease," said Evelyn Talbott, Dr. P.H., professor of epidemiology and communication science at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the study's first author. "Given the large number of women with PCOS and the long incubation period for calcium accumulation in coronary arteries, early and aggressive intervention through lifestyle changes and medication may significantly reduce heart disease-related death and illness."
PCOS is a common disorder that affects up to 7 percent of the female population, or about 10 million women in the United States. Some estimates are that as many as 10 percent of reproductive-age women are affected by PCOS. Previously treated on a symptom-by-symptom basis by physicians unaware that a larger and more complicated ailment was present, PCOS today is increasingly being recognized as a lifelong hereditary reproductive endocrine condition with physical and emotional consequences. Common symptoms include infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, excess body hair, ovarian cysts, acne and obesity. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists issued a position paper just weeks ago to raise awareness of the disorder, saying that women with PCOS "are at greatest risk for diabetes and coronary artery disease."
Dr. Talbott's study involved 61 women with PCOS who underwent noninvasive electron beam tomography sc