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Complications and challenges associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: current perspectives

Authors Palomba S, Santagni S, Falbo A, La Sala GB

Received 17 April 2015

Accepted for publication 29 May 2015

Published 31 July 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 745—763

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S70314

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Stefano Palomba,1 Susanna Santagni,1 Angela Falbo,1 Giovanni Battista La Sala1,2

1Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-Scientific Institute of Treatment and Care (IRCCS), Reggio Emilia, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

Abstract: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) represents the most common endocrine dysfunction in fertile women and it is considered a heterogeneous and multifaceted disorder, with multiple reproductive and metabolic phenotypes which differently affect the early- and long-term syndrome’s risks. Women with PCOS present an adverse reproductive profile, including a high risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes mellitus. Patients with PCOS present not only a higher prevalence of classic cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type-2 diabetes mellitus, but also of nonclassic cardiovascular risk factors, including mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, at the moment, clinical data on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in women with PCOS are controversial. Finally, women with PCOS show an increased risk of endometrial cancer compared to non-PCOS healthy women, particularly during premenopausal period. Currently, we are unable to clarify if the increased PCOS early- and long-term risks are totally due to PCOS per se or mostly due to obesity, in particular visceral obesity, that characterized the majority of PCOS patients. In any case, the main endocrine and gynecological scientific societies agree to consider women with PCOS at increased risk of obstetric, cardiometabolic, oncology, and psychological complications throughout life, and it is recommended that these women be accurately assessed with periodic follow-up.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, pregnancy

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