Office Blood Pressure, Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring, and Echocardiographic Abnormalities in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Role of Obesity and Androgen Excess
Whether or not blood pressure (BP) and heart function of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are altered remains unclear, albeit subtle abnormalities in the regulation of BP observed in these women might suggest a mild masculinization of their cardiovascular system. To study the influence of obesity and androgen excess on BP and echocardiographic profiles of women with the syndrome, we conducted a cross-sectional case–control study comparing office and ambulatory BP monitoring, as well as echocardiographic assessments, in 63 premenopausal women with the classic phenotype, 33 nonhyperandrogenic women with regular menses, and 25 young men. Forty-nine subjects were lean and 72 had weight excess (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2). Participants had no previous history of hypertension and were nonsmokers. Men showed the highest BP readings, and the lowest readings were observed in control women, whereas women with PCOS had intermediate values. Undiagnosed hypertension was more common in subjects with weight excess irrespective of sex and hyperandrogenism. Women with PCOS and weight excess showed frequencies of previously undiagnosed hypertension that were similar to those of men with weight excess and higher than those observed in nonhyperandrogenic women. Lastly, male sex, weight excess and hypertension, the latter in men as well as in women with PCOS, increased left ventricular wall thickness. In summary, our results show that patients with classic PCOS and weight excess frequently have undiagnosed BP abnormalities, leading to target organ damage.
- Received September 23, 2013.
- Revision received October 8, 2013.
- Accepted November 5, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.