Scientists from Athens Medical Center found that women with obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
They found women with PCOS had more than three times an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes during their lifetime. Normal-weight women with PCOS are not at increased risk.
The research was presented virtually at ENDO 2021 and was conducted by Sarantis Livadas et al.
PCOS is a common disorder characterized by irregular menstrual periods, disruption of normal metabolism, and excessive hair growth. PCOS affects up to 10% of all women of reproductive age.
The disorder can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are often life-long conditions. Between 50%-80% of women with PCOS have obesity, and obesity is known to be a risk factor for diabetes.
In the study, the researchers analyzed 23 previous studies in order to assess the impact of obesity on subsequent type 2 diabetes development in women with PCOS.
The studies included a total of 60,336 women with PCOS and 259,444 without the disease. A total of 8,847 women in the studies had type 2 diabetes.
The team found that only women with PCOS and obesity have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes development, in contrast to the current notion that all women with PCOS have a significant risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
This finding underscores the impact of early detection of this PCOS population and prompt lifestyle modification to avert the development of type 2 diabetes.
The team strongly suggests weight management in women with obesity and PCOS in an attempt to reduce this major risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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