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Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are more likely than other women of the same age to have cardiovascular risk factors (central body fat distribution, obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridaemia, reduced HDL-cholesterol concentrations).

The complications of the polycystic ovarian syndrome include:

  • infertility
  • 2-fold increased risk of diabetes mellitus (1). A higher risk of gestational diabetes is also seen, especially in obese women (2)
  • 3-fold increased risk of TIA/stroke (1)
  • increased risk of development of endometrial cancer (1)
  • obstructive sleep apnoea - prevalence is increased in PCOS patients, and they might complain of daytime somnolence/fatigue and snoring (2)

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome do not appear to be at an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease (1).


Last reviewed 07/2021