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Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 31, Issue 12, pp 1124–1131 | Cite as

The effects of insulin sensitizers on the cardiovascular risk factors in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

  • E. Kassi
  • E. Diamanti-Kandarakis
Review Article

Abstract

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in pre-menopausal women characterized by menstrual cycle disturbances, chronic anovulation, and clinical and/or biochemical hyperandrogenism. Although, the primary etiology of PCOS remains unknown, insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of the syndrome. A growing body of recent data support that women with PCOS have displayed an increased prevelance of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors putting potentially at a hight risk for heart disease. Most of these CVD risk factors are etiologically correlated with insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia, highlighting the role of insulin sensitizers in the therapeutic quiver for the chronic treatment of PCOS. In this review, we discuss the current literature on the CVD risk factors in PCOS and the influence of insulin sensitizers upon these risk factors.

Keywords

Cardiovascular risk factors insulin resistance metformin PCOS thiazolidinediones 

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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological ChemistryGreece
  2. 2.Endocrine Section, 1st Department of Medicine, Laiko General HospitalUniversity of Athens Medical SchoolAthensGreece

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