In Other Words #3

Anyone else ever find conflicting health information on the world wide web?

In looking through some recent publications, I found some relatively new findings about the link between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and heart disease that admittedly contradicted previous findings in the same area.

I’ll start by saying that many reproductive disorders in women have “ties” to cardiovascular health. Abnormal hormone levels and inflammation are often the link, but does a diagnosis of PCOS, endometriosis, adenomyosis, etc. mean that you are predisposed to heart disease? Or what about diabetes? PCOS patients in particular tend to have high levels of insulin, so the standard care always addresses this.

It is standard care for providers to counsel PCOS patients about the increased risk of diabetes and preventative measures people should take. Though not as strong, data linking PCOS and heart disease or PCOS and stroke has also been a concern.

Cedars-Sainai 2021

This recent study at Cedars Sinai explained, however, that there is no causal relationship between PCOS and diabetes. Or stroke or heart disease. Genetic studies confirmed an association, but not a direct cause and effect. This was surprising, but also somewhat positive news for the PCOS community.

No one really needs a list of possible future diagnoses when they just received a tough diagnosis as it is. But the question is should PCOS patients be worried? I’m not a medical professional, so I really can’t say how any single woman should handle her diagnosis. But I do think there are some factors that could lessen the blow, like a healthy diet and regular exercise. As I mentioned in a previous post, this does not have to be a strenuous and overwhelming task, but awareness can be huge! There are a ton of dietitians that can help with a personalized approach, and even more affordable suggestions in support groups and on social media.

With all that said, I really want to hear from you! What has your experience been with this relationship among conditions? Does a study like this make you feel any relief?

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