Insulin Resistance Syndrome
Women with PCOS are unusually resistant to Insulin, a hormone essential in metabolising the carbohydrates and maintaining blood sugar levels. Because of this they are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke at a much younger age than other women.
More than 50% of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes before the age of 40.
Women with PCOS have heart disease at an early age; in some studies 40% have calcification in their coronary arteries before age 45 (compared to 20% of women without PCOS). They have also been found to have a 50% increase in coronary events (heart attacks) compared to controls.
High Blood Pressure
Women with PCOS are at a greater risk of high blood pressure particularly after the age of forty.
LDL (bad) cholesterol levels are higher and HDL (good) cholesterol levels are lower in women with PCOS compared with others.
Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer if left untreated.