Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Women's Heart Health / 05.08.2020 Interview with: Dr.  Clare Oliver-Williams PhD University of Cambridge What is the background for this study? Response: Women with PCOS are known to be at greater risk of CVD, however the some symptoms (menstrual irregularity) of PCOS are specific to reproductive age women. This raises the question of whether CVD risk varies across by age, which was the focus of my research with colleagues at the University of Copenhagen. What should readers take away from your report? Response: Women with PCOS were at 19% higher CVD risk than women without CVD, however once the association was stratified by age, there was no  evidence for a higher CVD risk for women older than 50.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 28.03.2019 Interview with: Liv Guro Engen Hanem, PhD Candidate Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine Norwegian University of Science and Technology What is the background for this study?   Response: The antidiabetic drug metformin is increasingly used in pregnancy: to treat gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to prevent pregnancy complications related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. Metformin passes the placenta, and the fetus is thus exposed to the drug. Although no teratogenicity has been reported, metformin might have long-term effects on offspring health. This study is a follow-up of cardiometabolic risk factors of 141 5- to 10-year-old children born in the PregMet study. This study was a double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to test the hypothesis that metformin given throughout pregnancy reduces the prevalence of pregnancy complications that are associated with the common endocrine disorder PCOS. Pregnant women with PCOS were randomized to receive metformin or placebo throughout pregnancy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, OBGYNE / 02.12.2018 Interview with: Dr. Weimin Ye, MD MSC, PhD Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institue 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE / 12.04.2018 Interview with: Aled Rees, MD, PhD Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute Cardiff University School of Medicine, Health Park Cardiff United Kingdom 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JCEM, OBGYNE, Testosterone, UCSD / 24.01.2018 Interview with: Varykina Thackray, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine University of California, San Diego 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. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 02.04.2016 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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Endocrinology, UCSF / 27.12.2015 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, OBGYNE / 25.09.2015

Richard S. Legro, MD Vice Chair of Research and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences Penn State College of 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JCEM, OBGYNE / 28.01.2015

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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Endocrinology, Weight Research / 27.06.2014 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JCEM / 28.04.2014

Dr. Dorte Glintborg PhD Senior Hospital Physician, PhD Dorte Glintborg, Department of Endocrinology, OUH Odense University Interview with: Dr. Dorte Glintborg PhD Senior Hospital Physician, PhD Dorte Glintborg, Department of Endocrinology, OUH Odense University Hospital 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. (more…)