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12 - Polycystic ovary syndrome

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Mary Ann Lumsden
Affiliation:
University of Glasgow
Margaret Rees
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) differs according to ethnic background. The features of PCOS can be divided into clinical, metabolic and endocrine findings. Ultrasound findings are considered as one of the criteria for diagnosing PCOS. Metabolic components often found in patients with PCOS include: centripetal obesity, hypertension, fasting hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia. Women with PCOS are at a three to seven-fold elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the health complications associated with this disease. Pelvic ultrasound should be arranged to assess ovarian morphology and endometrial thickness. Women diagnosed with PCOS should be informed of the possible long term risks to health that are associated with their condition. They should be advised regarding weight control and exercise as this forms the cornerstone of treatment. Dietary advice about healthy eating would usually include reducing fat and sugar intake while increasing consumption of fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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