Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when ovarian cysts block a woman’s normal ovulation and menstrual cycle. While the problem sounds straightforward, the disease is complex, born from both multiple genetic components and environmental factors. PCOS affects up to five percent of the female population, and those diagnosed with the disease have a 2- to 7-fold risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
A study of 146 PCOS patients has found that the “diabetes gene” (calpain-10 (CAPN10)) is in fact an interesting candidate for explaining the syndrome. This genetic factor not only increases the risk in women with PCOS of developing type 2 diabetes, but also may play a role in the onset of PCOS.
The study appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism (http://ajpendo.physiology.org/). The journal is one of the 14 scientific publications published by the American Physiological Society (APS) (http://www.the-aps.org/) each month.
The findings are good news for the estimated five percent of the female population who are diagnosed with the painful and sometimes disabling disease. Please read Managing PCOS, which lists common symptoms of the syndrome if you believe you may be affected.