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Liver Disease- Major Risk for Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Liver Disease- Major Risk for Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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  • Women with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may have an increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease development.
  • Women who have PCOS have higher levels of male hormones, and so they are less sensitive to insulin and are overweight or obese.
  • These women are two to three times more likely to develop the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than women without PCOS.

Increasing level of male hormone which is responsible for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women may also lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the PLOS Medicine.

These women with polycystic ovaries may have a two-fold increased risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

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This syndrome affects 10 percent of women all over the world and is known to cause irregular periods, impaired fertility, male-pattern body hair growth and acne in them. Increased level of male hormone is found in most women who have PCOS. These women are known to be less sensitive to insulin and are sometimes overweight or obese. Non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases are a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little or no alcohol and is a major cause of liver disease worldwide; it poses a major risk to everyone because it has been linked to obesity.

The findings of this study indicate that women who have PCOS are two to three times more likely to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease when compared to women without PCOS. And most importantly, they also found that women with both PCOS and increased testosterone level had an increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease regardless of their weight.

In this study, the scientists compared the health records of 63,000 women with PCOS with 120,000 women who were of similar age, body weight and background. They also looked at two cohort studies of women with PCOS and women with high levels of testosterone.

Dr. Krish Nirantharakumar from the University of Birmingham's Institute of Applied Health, said: "We observed a two-fold increased risk of fatty liver disease in women with PCOS and male hormone excess".

He also added, "Looking at the levels of the major male hormone testosterone, we found that having a high testosterone level increased the risk of fatty liver disease significantly, even in women who were of a normal healthy weight".

Professor Wiebke Arlt also said: "Our research has highlighted significant and previously unknown health risks in women with PCOS and increased male hormone levels.

"Our findings suggest that regular screening for the fatty liver disease should be considered in these women, to make sure the disease is caught early."

"Our research shows that PCOS does not only affect fertility but also comes with significantly increased rates of metabolic complications."

"This means that women with PCOS need integrated health care throughout their life and not only when planning a pregnancy," said Professor Wiebke Arlt

  1. Balachandran Kumarendran , Michael W. O'Reilly , Konstantinos N. Manolopoulos , Konstantinos A. Toulis, Krishna M. Gokhale, Alice J. Sitch, Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, Arri Coomarasamy, Wiebke Arlt , Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar. Polycystic ovary syndrome, androgen excess, and the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in women: A longitudinal study based on a United Kingdom primary care database, PLOS Medicinel (2018).https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002542

Source: Medindia

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