Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common metabolic-hormone disorder that affects 15% of adolescents and women of reproductive age. Our preliminary data shows women with PCOS in Alberta have 2-fold higher incidence of heart disease compared to age-matched women in the population. In Canada, early heart disease is under-diagnosed and under-researched in women. Women with PCOS have increased premature risk of developing heart disease and a higher incidence of heart attack and stroke. However, in Canada the evidence for increased incidence and the risk factors for heart disease are lacking in women with PCOS. We have been the first to show that adolescents and young women with PCOS have elevated blood levels of cholesterol remnants that cause heart disease. These cholesterol remnants are correlated with other risk factors for heart disease such as obesity, and altered blood sugar and fat metabolism (1, 2).
The aim of this project is to investigate the incidence of heart disease and early it's development, and the association with risk factors in women with and without PCOS. We need this research to provide evidence to help understand the extent of the health burden and to develop strategies to prevent premature heart disease in women with and without PCOS. The primary objectives are:
- To determine the incidence and age of onset of heart disease and the association with risk factors in women with and without PCOS. We are collaborating with the Alberta Strategic Patient Orientated Research Unit to determine the incidence, age of onset and associated risk factors using the Alberta Health Data Analytics patient data base.
- To assess early blood vessel and heart disease and the association with risk factors in women with and without PCOS. We are using highly sensitive ultrasound methods that can measure very early blood vessel disease and heart dysfunction.
The outcomes of this project will provide vital data on risk factors, blood vessel and heart disease in women in Alberta. The data collected can be used to inform the health care system of heart disease risk factors in women with and without PCOS. The data can also be used to contribute to Canadian and International guidelines for the early assessment and primary prevention of premature heart disease in women with and without PCOS.
- Vine D et al. Impaired ApoB-Lipoprotein and Triglyceride Metabolism in Obese Adolescents With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Journal Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism; 102:970-982. (click here to read the publication)
- Vine D et al. ApoB48-Lipoproteins Are Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk in Adolescents with and without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Journal of the Endocrine Society;8:1-12. (click here to read the publication)