Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity raise asthma attack risk

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Women's Health | Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 01:00 PM

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity raise asthma attack riskPolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity raise asthma attack risk. Lead author of the study Anju Elizabeth Joham said, “A greater proportion of women with polycystic ovary syndrome report asthma, and the results of this study suggest that asthma is associated with PCOS and excess weight. These findings highlight that polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex disorder that includes significant inflammatory underpinnings. These results also raise awareness of the need to consider higher risks in other health areas in this condition.”

PCOS is most common in women during their reproductive years, but to date no research has been conducted on the relationship between PCOS, weight, and asthma.

The researchers evaluated the prevalence of asthma in women of childbearing age. They also looked at the impact of obesity on asthma prevalence in women with PCOS, compared to those women without PCOS.

The researchers looked at data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), which has been following over 58,000 Australian women.

The researchers randomly selected survey responses from 9,145 women regarding their PCOS and asthma status. Prevalence of PCOS was found to be 5.8 percent, while asthma prevalence was 15.2 percent among PCOS women and 10.6 percent in women without PCOS. The researchers found that PCOS and obesity was associated with a higher risk of asthma.

Joham explained, “The results of this observational study need to be confirmed with results in other populations, and exploration of these relationships in longitudinal studies is needed.”

Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause weight gain

Weight gain is an ongoing struggle seen in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Furthermore, dropping those extra pounds can be far more difficult for those with PCOS, compared to women without the condition.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder which affects women during their childbearing years and can result in fertility and reproductive issues. In PCOS, women have higher levels of male hormones and can experience a decreased sensitivity to insulin or become resistant to it. Insulin is a hormone that helps convert sugar and starches into energy. In case of insulin resistance, this process does not occur, causing high blood sugar levels and often resulting in weight gain.

High insulin further contributes to high levels of male hormones, which cause symptoms commonly seen in PCOS, like facial hair, acne, irregular periods, and weight gain. This weight gain is commonly seen in the abdomen region where men typically carry their weight. So rather than having a pear-shaped body, which is typical for women, PCOS patients have more of an apple-shape type, which has been tied to numerous health complications like high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.

Other complications of weight gain in PCOS are type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, infertility, and endometrial cancer. It’s important that you properly manage your weight as best as possible in order to lower your risk of these health problems. Speak to your doctor about your options with regards to losing weight while living with PCOS.

Related Reading:

PCOS signs and symptoms, polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms checklist

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal problem that affects the ovaries as well as other parts of the body. PCOS is most common in women of childbearing years, and if left untreated it can result in serious health problems. Continue reading…

PCOS associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Estimates suggest that one in 15 women of childbearing age is diagnosed with PCOS. The condition is characterized by lack of ovulation and a difficulty conceiving a child. Aside from fertility problems, PCOS can have other health complications – including cardiovascular disease. Continue reading…


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