- PCOS is associated with changes in cardiac function in later life.
Why this matters
- Cardiac autonomic dysfunction is associated with depression, anxiety, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality.
- Women with PCOS had reduced vagal activity compared with controls:
- Higher beats per minute (P=.046),
- Lower root mean square of successive R-R differences (P=.004),
- Lower low-frequency power (P=.044),
- Lower high-frequency power (P=.002), and
- Lower baroreflex sensitivity (P=.036).
- Reduced vagal activity was associated with metabolic abnormalities (mean arterial pressure, Homeostasis Model Assessment–insulin resistance [HOMA-IR], triglycerides).
- Overweight women had more pronounced changes in heart rate variability (HRV) parameters.
- Prospective birth cohort study.
- Cohort identified from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966, a study of women born in 1966 and followed through age 46 years.
- HRV was compared in women with PCOS symptoms (n=160) and controls (n=1029).
- Primary outcome measure was HRV parameters using a heart rate monitor and ECG at rest, sitting, and standing.
- Funding: Finnish Medical Foundation; North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund; Academy of Finland; Center of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics; SALVE; University of Oulu; National Institute for Health Research; Medical Research Council UK; and multiple other awards, projects, and foundations.
- Only white women were included.