Polycystic ovary syndrome and the postmenopausal woman.
Ireland K., Child T.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common syndrome among young women. It is associated with fertility problems, clinical manifestations of hyperandrogenism and metabolic disturbance, particularly insulin resistance. The long-term consequences of PCOS have not been fully determined, but there is an increased risk of progression to diabetes and an increase in cardiovascular risk factors. The extent to which PCOS is present in postmenopausal women and the degree to which it increases various risk factors in addition to the known risk of the postmenopausal period are not yet known. This paper reviews the pathophysiology of PCOS and its long-term consequences and considers the evidence to date that is applicable to the postmenopausal woman.