Obesity and women’s health 2: polycystic ovary syndrome

Published on January 31, 2016   45 min

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Other Talks in the Series: Obesity: Science, Medicine and Society

My name is Dr. Thom Barber. I'm an Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist based at the University of Warwick in UK and UHCW NHS Trust. So in the second part of this talk, I'm going to specifically talk about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which is a very common condition affecting pre-menopausal women and a condition which is very closely associated with obesity.
In this part of the talk, I will firstly consider what is PCOS. I'll talk about its pathogenesis, genetic corroboration with obesity, links with obstructive sleep apnea and then consider specifically whether having PCOS may make it harder to lose weight and also use of metformin therapy in women with PCOS.
So what is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Some historical aspects. In 1921, Archard and Thiers first made a link between hirsutism and metabolic derangements in their description of a bearded lady with diabetes. But it wasn't until 1935 when Stein and Leventhal first described the syndrome of PCOS. But it really wasn't until much more recently in 1980 when we realized that Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is actually an insulin resistant condition and a condition which is associated with multiple dysmetabolic features. And since then, of course, there has been much research into the cardiometabolic associations of PCOS.

Obesity and women’s health 2: polycystic ovary syndrome

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