Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Linked to Increased Risk of Some Cancer Types

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institue

Prof. Ye

Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institue

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine    disorder affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age. Characterized by hyperandrogenism and metabolic abnormalities, PCOS is known to be related to various long-term health consequences, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer. Besides, inconsistent results have been reported for the associations between PCOS and the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Studies addressing the risks of other cancers are scarce. Thus, we conducted a large, population-based cohort study with a long follow-up and rather sufficient confounding adjustment to explore the full picture of associations between PCOS and the risks of various cancer types.

We found that PCOS is a risk factor for certain types of cancer, including cancers of the endometrium, ovary, endocrine gland, pancreas, kidney and skeletal & hematopoietic system. Continue reading

Testosterone May Be Link Between PCOS and Autism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adriana Cherskov Autism Research Centre Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Cambridge

Ms. Cherskov

Adriana Cherskov
Autism Research Centre
Department of Psychiatry
University of Cambridge
Cambridge

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Autism is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, and may be accompanied by unusually narrow interests or difficulties adjusting to unexpected change. Signs of autism are usually present in childhood and the condition affects about 1-2% of the population. At the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, our research team is interested in understanding some of the environmental triggers of autism. Previously, our research group has shown that autistic children have elevated levels of “sex steroid” hormones (including testosterone) before they are born.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common condition, affecting about one in ten women, which is primarily characterized by increased levels of the sex-steroid hormone testosterone and its precursors. These mothers may also have higher testosterone levels than usual during pregnancy, which may exposure their unborn baby to more of this hormone. Additionally, they may have genetic factors increasing sex steroid hormones that can be passed down to their children. Our research team sought to examine whether women with PCOS therefore may have an increased chance of having a child with autism.

We used anonymized health records from a large database of GP records in the UK and included 8,588 women with PCOS and their first-born children in the study as well as 41,127 women without PCOS as controls. We found that after adjusting for factors such as maternal mental health conditions or metabolic conditions, women with PCOS had a 2.3% change of having an autistic child, compared with 1.7% change for mothers without PCOS. We would like to stress, however, that the increased risk for women with PCOS is still very small, and the likelihood of having an autistic child is still very low.

As part of this research, we have also conducted two other studies, where we found that women with PCOS themselves were twice as likely to have autism and that women with autism were also twice as likely to have PCOS. These findings suggest a common pathway between autism and PCOS which will be important to explore in future research.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: As mentioned earlier, our findings indicate women with PCOS have an increased chance of having a child with autism, but this increase is still very small, and the chance of having a child with autism is still very low even in this population (2.3% compared with 1.7%). As a result, the main take-away from our research is that we have found further evidence for the role of prenatal testosterone as one of many players in the development of autism and a potentially common pathway between autism and PCOS.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: This link will help us in the future to understand the cause of both conditions. In this study we were not able to measure testosterone or sex steroid levels in women or their children, and this will be an important step in determining whether it is the sex-steroid hormones themselves, another downstream factor (such as insulin levels which are affected in PCOS), or genetics at the root of this association. Ultimately, both autism and PCOS are very complex conditions with many causative factors. The association we find here is likely just one of these players for both conditions, but it paves the path for future research.

In the future, this research may also help doctors and patients make decisions about treatment, as women with autism at high risk of developing PCOS may be able to start treatment or lifestyle changes early, which can improve PCOS management and quality of life. Alternatively, we underline again that the small increased likelihood of women with PCOS having a child with autism should not cause additional stress or worry in this population, since there are many factors involved in developing autism which will require further research to understand fully. 

Citation: Adriana Cherskov, Alexa Pohl, Carrie Allison, Heping Zhang, Rupert A. Payne, Simon Baron-Cohen. Polycystic ovary syndrome and autism: A test of the prenatal sex steroid theory. Translational Psychiatry, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41398-018-0186-7

Aug 5, 2018 @ 10:24 pm 

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Women With PCOS Should Be Screened for Mental Health Issues

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aled Rees, MD, PhD
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute
Cardiff University School of Medicine, Health Park
Cardiff United Kingdom

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: PCOS is a common condition, affecting 5-10% of women globally, in which elevated male hormone levels can cause a range of distressing and life-limiting symptoms, including reduced fertility, irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, and acne. Previous studies have suggested a link between PCOS and poor mental health in women but the studies were small and did not adequately take other factors that can affect mental health into consideration. In addition, high levels of testosterone during pregnancy have been reported to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD and autism, in children.

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PCOS: Hyperandrogenism Associated With Changes in Gut Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Varykina Thackray, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine University of California, San Diego

Dr. Thackray

Varykina Thackray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine
University of California, San Diego

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have shown that changes in the composition of intestinal microbes (gut microbiome) are associated with metabolic diseases. Since many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have metabolic dysregulation that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, we wondered whether PCOS was associated with changes in the gut microbiome and if these changes were linked to any clinical features of PCOS.

We collaborated with Beata Banaszewska and her colleagues at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland to obtain clinical data and fecal samples from 163 premenopausal women recruited for the study. In collaboration with Scott Kelley at San Diego State University, we used 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to show that the diversity of the gut microbiome was reduced in Polish women with PCOS compared to healthy women and women with polycystic ovaries but no other symptoms of PCOS.

The study confirmed findings reported in two other recent studies with smaller cohorts of Caucasian and Han Chinese women. Since many factors could affect the gut microbiome in women with PCOS, regression analysis was used to identify clinical hallmarks that correlated with changes in the gut microbiome. In contrast to body mass index or insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism was associated with changes in the gut microbiome in this cohort of women, suggesting that elevated testosterone may be an important factor in shaping the gut microbiome in women.

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Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Elevated in Women With PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dorte Glintborg Overlæge, ph.d, dr.med Endokrinologisk Afdeling M Odense Universitetshospital

Dr. Glintborg

Dorte Glintborg
Overlæge, ph.d, dr.med
Endokrinologisk Afdeling M
Odense Universitetshospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder. PCOS is most often defined according to the Rotterdam criteria, which include irregular ovulation, biochemical/clinical hyperandrogenism, and/or polycystic ovaries when other etiologies are excluded. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and obesity, but data regarding development and risk factors for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in PCOS are limited.

We performed a National Register-based study on Danish women with PCOS and included data regarding T2D events according to diagnosis codes and filled medicine prescriptions (N=18,477). Three age-matched controls were included per patient (N=54,680).

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that the risk for development of type 2 diabetes was 4 times increased in women with PCOS compared to controls. The median age at diagnosis of  type 2 diabetes was 31 years in women with PCOS compared with 35 years in controls suggesting that T2D was diagnosed 4 years earlier in PCOS. Increasing body mass index was associated with increased risk of development of T2D, whereas higher number of births was negatively associated with development of type 2 diabetes.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further studies are needed regarding predictors of  type 2 diabetes in PCOS. Our data support a considerable increased risk for type 2 diabetes in obese women with PCOS. 

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Development and risk factors of type 2 diabetes in a nationwide population of women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Katrine Hass Rubin Dorte Glintborg Mads Nybo Bo AbrahamsenMarianne Andersen

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, jc.2017-01354,https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2017-01354

Published29 August 2017

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

 

 

 

 

PCOS Associated With Greater Risk of Asthma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Anju Joham (MBBS (Hons), FRACP, PhD)
Endocrinologist, Monash Health
Post doctoral Research Fellow
Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation – MCHRI
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Monash University – in partnership with Monash Healtj

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Johan: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting reproductive-aged women. Recent research suggests that asthma may be more commonly seen in women with PCOS; however, there are very limited studies that have examined this relationship. It will be helpful to understand if there is a relationship with PCOS and asthma.

Women were randomly selected from the national health insurance database (Medicare) in Australia. Data was available for 8612 women. We found that in women aged 28 to 33 years, PCOS prevalence was 5.8% (95% CI: 5.3%-6.4%). The prevalence of asthma was 15.2% in women reporting PCOS and 10.6% in women not reporting PCOS respectively. PCOS was associated with 34% increased odds of asthma after adjusting for weight. In addition, weight in the overweight and obese range were associated with increased odds of asthma.

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Linked To Multiple Skin Findings

Kanade Shinkai, MD PhD Associate Professor of Clinical Dermatology Director, Residency Program Endowed Chair in Dermatology Medical Student Education UCSF Department of Dermatology San Francisco, CA 94115

Dr. Shinkai

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kanade Shinkai, MD PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Dermatology
Director, Residency Program
Endowed Chair in Dermatology Medical Student Education
UCSF Department of Dermatology
San Francisco, CA 94115 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Shinkai: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in the United States that has important skin manifestations including acne, hair loss, hirsutism, and acanthosis nigricans. We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study of women referred to a multidisciplinary PCOS clinic at UCSF to determine whether skin findings and systemic associations differ between women who meet diagnostic criteria for PCOS versus those suspected of having PCOS but do not meet diagnostic criteria. We found that women with PCOS commonly have skin findings, however, present across a broad spectrum of cutaneous manifestations.

Comparing the skin findings in women who meet diagnostic criteria for PCOS with women who are suspected of having PCOS suggests that it can be very difficult to distinguish a patient with PCOS based on skin findings alone.  Hirsutism and acanthosis nigricans are the most helpful findings to suggest PCOS and require a comprehensive skin examination to diagnose; acne and androgenic alopecia are common findings but do not differentiate. The finding of hirsutism and acanthosis were associated with important systemic abnormalities including elevated free testosterone levels, insulin resistance, obesity, and dyslipidemia. This is the first study to perform systematic comprehensive skin exams on women with PCOS and link the skin findings to key systemic associations that have significant implications for the treatment and prognosis of women with the disease.

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PCOS: Exercise and Weight Loss Can Improve Fertility

Richard S. Legro, MD Vice Chair of Research and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences Penn State College of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Richard S. Legro, MD
Vice Chair of Research and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences Penn State College of Medicine

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Legro: Weight loss is recommended for obese women with PCOS, but there are no randomized studies to show that it improves fertility outcomes.

Both Lifestyle modification and oral contraceptives are also recommended for chronic treatment of women with PCOS so that this study has relevance to all obese women with PCOS.

We designed this study to prospectively examine the effects of these common treatments on reproductive, metabolic and quality of life parameters, as well as on fertility in women seeking pregnancy.

The main findings are summarized in the abstract and conclusion to the study.  I would repeat those here.  I would highlight that quality of life improved in all treatment groups, but the group that had both oral contraceptives and lifestyle modification had a significant improvement in their physical well-being compared to the oral contraceptive group.

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PCOS Linked To Increased Hospitalizations, Infertility, Diabetes and Obesity

Roger Hart MD  FRANZCOG MRCOG CREI Winthrop Professor of Reproductive MedicineSchool of Women's and Infants Health Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia The University of Western Australia Perth Western Australia 6008MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Roger Hart MD  FRANZCOG MRCOG CREI

Winthrop Professor of Reproductive MedicineSchool of Women’s and Infants Health
Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia Perth Western Australia 6008

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Hart: PCOS is a very common condition affecting approximately 1 in 12 women and has an estimated annual impact upon the health system in the USA of up to $4.36 billion per year. PCOS is a condition that often manifests itself early in girls life with menstrual problems in adolescence and may lead to reduced fertility in later life due to problems with ovulation. Previous studies have suggested that women with this condition may have other problems in later life, however they have generally been small studies over a short duration. We studied women from 15 years of age, who were admitted to a hospital in Western Australia where a diagnosis of PCOS was recorded on admission. We compared them to women who did not have a PCOS diagnosis recorded on admission using our state-wide hospital database system data linkage.

The medical records of 2,566 women with a PCOS diagnosis were followed from 1980 onwards until an average of almost 36 years, and these women were matched to 25,660 women without PCOS.

Women with PCOS on average had twice as many hospital admissions and unfortunately were twice as likely to die during the study period.

As expected women with PCOS women had a higher rate of menstrual problems and infertility, and require IVF treatment, have a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, and ultimately require surgical intervention for heavy periods and a hysterectomy.

In pregnancy women with PCOS were more likely to deliver preterm or have a stillbirth.

In addition women with PCOS were four times more likely to develop late onset diabetes, even after taking into consideration obesity. These women wore more likely to have problems with blood pressure and ischemic heart disease, despite being relatively young. They were more likely to develop a deep vein thrombosis and have a diagnosis of asthma.

With regard to mental health women with PCOS were twice as likely to have a diagnosis of stress and anxiety and depression. They were more likely to be a victim of self-harm and be involved with a land transport accidents.

With regard to cancer; cervical cancer was diagnosed less frequently in women with PCOS, but they had an increased risk of cancer of the womb. The incidence of breast and skin cancers was no different between the groups.

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PCOS: Adding Anti-Inflammatory Drug Roflumilast to Metformin May Reduce Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mojca Jensterle

Department of Endocrinology. Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases. University Medical Centre. Zaloska 7. Slovenia.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: This is the first report demonstrating that selective phosphodiesterase enzyme (PDE) 4 inhibitor roflumilast added to metformin (MET) was superior to metformin alone in reducing mean body weight after 12 weeks of treatment in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), primarily due to a loss of fat mass.

31 women with PCOS diagnosed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development criteria aged 33.8 ± 7.4 years with BMI 36.4 ± 5.1 kg/m2concluded the study. They were randomized to MET 1000 mg BID or combined treatment (COM) with MET 1000 mg BID and roflumilast 500 mcg QD. The primary outcome were changes in anthropometric measures of obesity.

At study endpoint subjects treated with COM lost on average 4.2 ± 2.8 kg compared to a 0.9± 2.5 kg weight gain in METgroup (p<0.001). BMI decreased for 1.6 ± 1.1 kg/m2 in COM arm compared to increase for 0.9 ± 2.4 kg/m2 in MET arm (p= 0.001). Total body fat decreased for 0.7±0.4 % in COM as opposed to 0.2 ± 0.1 % increase in MET and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) area as assessed by DXA decreased for 15.5 ± 1.6 cm2 in COM as opposed to 11.4 ± 5.3 cm2 increase in MET. The greater waist circumference reduction was noted in COM (4.2 ± 1 cm) compared with MET (0.8 ± 0.7 cm). The improvements of obesity measures were associated with beneficial effects on fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance and resolution of metabolic syndrome in affected women.

The hypothesis behind the weight decrease and beneficial metabolic impact observed with roflumilast is based on the PDE4 regulation of signaling pathways linked to GLP-1 release. In experimental rodent model a single treatment with roflumilast enhanced plasma GLP-1 levels up to 2.5 -fold.

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PCOS: Metformin and Weight Loss

Dr. Dorte Glintborg PhD Senior Hospital Physician, PhD Dorte Glintborg, Department of Endocrinology, OUH Odense University HospitalMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Dorte Glintborg PhD
Senior Hospital Physician, PhD Dorte Glintborg, Department of Endocrinology, OUH Odense University Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of this study?

Dr. Glintborg: The main finding of the study is that one year’s metformin treatment is associated with a minor but significant weight loss in patients with PCOS irrespective of BMI at study inclusion. Treatment with oral contraceptives improves sex-hormone levels but is associated with at minor weight gain. Based on the study results, clinicians should consider the combined treatment with metformin and oral contraceptives in patients with PCOS.

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