Among women with polycystic ovary syndrome, those aged 30 years or older are potentially at higher risk for developing early atherosclerosis, based on elevated lipid levels, lipid ratios and hypertension rates, compared with younger women with or without polycystic ovary syndrome, according to research in the International Journal of Endocrinology.
Subclinical cardiovascular disease was more prevalent in women aged at least 30 years with PCOS regardless of BMI, according to researchers.
“If we consider that women with PCOS are exposed to risk factors for CVD early in life, the diagnosis of subclinical atherosclerosis in this population would be of importance,” the researchers wrote.
Djuro Macut, MD, of the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and colleagues compared data from 100 women with PCOS (26.32 ± 5.26 years; BMI, 24.98 ± 6.38 kg/m²) with 50 healthy women (27.96 ± 5.6 years; BMI, 24.66 ± 6.74 kg/m²). Baseline blood samples collected after 12 hours of fasting during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, or randomly in the case of amenorrhea, were analyzed for levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A, ApoB, glucose, insulin, total testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate.
Patients aged at least 30 years with PCOS (n = 24) had higher BMI (P < .001) waist-to-hip ratio (P = .008), systolic blood pressure (P < .001), diastolic BP (P < .001), all lipids and their ratios, and ApoB (P = .014) than younger women with PCOS (n = 76), according to researchers. After adjustment for BMI, significant differences remained for systolic BP (P = .003), diastolic BP (P = .003), triglycerides (P = .05), insulin (P = .028) and free androgen index (P = .043).
In the older subgroups, women with PCOS had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension than women without PCOS (n = 18; 61% vs. 17%, P = .003).
“A more proper assessment of the clinical phenotypes and use of specific metabolic indicators could be a valuable tool for the evaluation of [CV] potential and outcomes in future randomized studies on women with PCOS,” the researchers wrote. – by Regina Schaffer