Study Addresses Implications of Hypertension in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Posted 5/20/2019

Data published in the latest issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility, which also devoted an editorial to the topic

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that causes changes in hormonal levels, affecting approximately 10% of women of childbearing age. A study conducted at Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre revealed relationships between PCOS and high blood pressure (hypertension). The findings suggest an association that can be easily identified, potentially aiding in the prevention of more severe metabolic dysfunctions, as recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility in an article titled ACC/AHA 2017 definition of high blood pressure: implications for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In the same issue, the journal also published an Editorial on this topic.

A study known as the SPRINT trial compared intensive versus conventional treatment of hypertension, and found higher rates of mortality and cardiovascular events in the conventional treatment group. In response, in 2017, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology changed the cutoff blood pressure level that defines hypertension from 140/90 mmHg to 130/80 mmHg.

The present study was conducted using data from the group’s biorepository. The results suggest that, when blood pressure values of 130/80 mmHg or higher are considered indicative of hypertension, the risk of an association with prediabetes was 3.5 times higher and that of dyslipidemia and obesity almost twice as high compared to the old cutoff of 140/90. This means that using lower values to define abnormal blood pressure in women with PCOS provides a simple tool for identifying risk of cardiometabolic comorbidities, as well as an opportunity for early prevention. In addition, the recommended treatment for high blood pressure in patients with PCOS when diagnosed early consists only of lifestyle changes, which will contribute to further reductions in metabolic comorbidities.

According to study author Poli Mara Spritzer, the general coordinator of INCT Hormona, PCOS is associated not only with reproductive disorders but also with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. “Thus, these patients, although still young, experience a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, and preventive measures are essential”, emphasizes Poli Mara.

Editing: Luiz Sérgio Dibe
Additional information provided by the HCPA Head of Social Communications.