PCOS, a risk factor for fatty liver disease


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) doubles the risk of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), also known as fatty liver disease.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 10% of women. It causes an irregular menstrual cycle and anovulation, that is to say, an absence of ovulation. Responsible for problems with infertility, acne, overweight, excessive hair, irregular menstrual cycles, it is now being accused for the accumulation of fat in liver cells and non-alcoholic fatty liver, according to the results of a study published in the medical journal Plos Medecine.

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), known as fatty liver disease, is a complication of the metabolic syndrome. It is established when the patient displays at least three of the following pathologies: diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, elevation of triglycerides, lowering of HDL cholesterol.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in Britain conducted a study with 63,000 women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and high levels of male hormones. The researchers found that they were twice as likely to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as other women.

“Looking at the levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone, we found that having a high level of testosterone increases the risk of fatty liver disease significantly, even in women who had a normal healthy weight.” explained Dr. Krish Nirantharakumar, of the Institute of Applied Health at the University of Birmingham. “We have observed a two – fold higher risk of hepatic steatosis in women with PCOS and an excess of male hormones.

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Regular screening for hepatic steatosis should be considered in women to ensure that the disease is detected as early as possible.

Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.