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

or dyslipidaemia (a disruption in the levels of lipids (or fats) in the blood).

"Until now, it was not clear whether the male relatives of women with PCOS were at increased risk for the metabolic disorders associated with PCOS," said Dr Mattle, who is chief resident at the University Clinic of Gynecological Endocrinology and Reproduction Medicine in Innsbruck (Austria).

Dr Mattle and her colleagues conducted oral glucose tolerance tests on 15 brothers of sisters with PCOS and insulin resistance (group 1). They also performed a serum analysis to determine lipid levels. As a control, nine brothers of sisters with PCOS but without insulin resistance were included in the study (group 2).

The researchers found that in the first group eight brothers showed an insulin resistance, one was diagnosed with diabetes and six had a normal glucose tolerance test. All nine affected brothers had a body mass index (BMI) between 19-31 kg/m2 and had elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The six unaffected brothers had a BMI between 23-29, and none had high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides. In the second group, no insulin resistance was diagnosed. BMI was between 18-27 and two brothers had elevated cholesterol levels. Although there was a trend towards higher BMI in the first group, Dr Mattle said there was no statistically significant difference in BMIs between the two groups.

Dr Mattle said: "These results mean that we should pay attention to the health not only of women with PCOS but also to their brothers as they seem to have an increased risk for the medical problems that make up the metabolic syndrome, such as insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Our findings are also in accordance with the hypothesis that not only is PCOS is a heritable disease, but that factors associated with it, such as insulin resistance, can be passed down to the next generation of either sex."

She said that it could not be the
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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