Potentially serious metabolic sequelae make diagnosis and intervention imperatives
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine abnormality of women of reproductive age. The diagnosis is based on the presence of two of three criteria — ovulatory disturbance, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. However, in most women, insulin resistance is central to the pathogenesis of the syndrome, with hyperinsulinaemia driving both androgen production and androgen bioavailability as the key diagnostic feature.1-3 In PCOS, insulin resistance not only contributes to symptoms, but also has serious sequelae including infertility, impaired glucose tolerance, a fourfold to sevenfold increase in diabetes and a potentially increased risk of cardiovascular disease.3
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