Women with a hormone-linked condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may also be at increased risk for liver disease, a new study finds.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is caused by hormone imbalance, and is characterised by insulin resistance that can interfere with normal ovulation and fertility.
Reporting in the February issue of Fertility and Sterility, researchers led by Dr Jeffrey Schwimmer of the University of California, San Diego, noted that 30% of the 73 PCOS patients they studied had high levels of an enzyme strongly linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which also has links to insulin resistance.
The finding is important because many doctors are not aware of the link between PCOS and increased risk for NAFLD, Schwimmer said in a prepared statement.
It also means that many obstetricians/gynaecologists may not be screening PCOS patients for this liver disorder, and may even be treating them with drugs that are known to be toxic to the liver, he added.
Based on these findings, the researchers recommended that all women with PCOS be screened for NAFLD.
Originally posted April 2005
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