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Polycystic ovarian syndrome: New light on its causes and its effect on brothers
Date:6/30/2009

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Researchers have found evidence that chronic disease in either a mother or father can create unfavourable conditions in the womb that are associated with the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in daughters. In another study, researchers found that brothers of women with PCOS and insulin resistance are themselves at greater risk of developing insulin resistance or diabetes, suggesting that factors associated with the condition can be passed down to sons as well as daughters.

The two studies were presented to the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam heard today (Tuesday).

Associate Professor Michael Davies told a news briefing: "We already know from clinical studies of women with reproductive problems that foetal growth restriction is associated with the development of PCOS symptoms in daughters, and that problems during pregnancy and in the way the mother adapts to the metabolic challenge of pregnancy can indicate the future cardiovascular health of both the mother and the child. What we don't know is whether giving birth to a daughter who later develops PCOS is associated with increased, long term cardiovascular disease risk in the mother. Nor do we know whether conditions underlying chronic disease in the father increases the risk of PCOS in the daughter."

Prof Davies, co-director of the Research Centre for the Early Origins of Health and Disease at the University of Adelaide (Australia), looked at records for all female babies who were born and survived between 1973-1976 at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide. He and his colleagues interviewed the daughters to build up a picture of their health and any history of chronic disease in their parents. So far, 998 (63%) have responded, and Prof Davies reported preliminary data up to mid-1975 to the conference.

Sixty-two daughters (6.2% of the group) had a pre-existing diagnosi
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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