WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a research letter published online Aug. 2 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Clare Oliver-Williams, Ph.D., from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a nationwide registry study involving 60,574 women from the Danish National assisted reproductive technology-Couple II Cohort to examine the CVD risk associated with PCOS across the life span.

Overall, 10.2 percent of the women had PCOS. The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 8.9 years, 4.8 percent of the women developed CVD. Women with PCOS had an increased risk for CVD (age-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.20), which persisted after covariate adjustment (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.19). No evidence of higher CVD risk was seen for women with PCOS after the age of 50 years, following stratification by age. In sensitivity analyses, increased CVD risk remained for women with PCOS after adjustment for body mass index, smoking, and alcohol (hazard ratio, 1.49).

“Knowledge is power and being aware of the heart risks means women with PCOS can do something about it,” Oliver-Williams said in a statement. “Women with PCOS have been dealt a tough hand but this is about how these women play their cards. There are fantastic PCOS support groups where they can find out what has helped others with PCOS lose weight, get more exercise, and have a healthier diet.”

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