Apple Women's Health Study uncovers impact of PCOS on other medical issues

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in General Discussion
An ongoing study into women's health by Apple and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has revealed results on the wider health impact on suffers of polycystic ovary syndrome.




First announced in November 2019, the Apple Women's Health Study has already had promising initial findings. Now Apple says that, in particular, it is helping understand the impact of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

"Despite the association between PCOS and heart-related conditions," Dr Shruthi Mahalingaiah of the study told Apple, "historically, research studies about heart health have not included information about menstrual cycles."

"More broadly speaking, menstrual health is also significantly under-represented in the research space," she continued. "Our study is filling a research gap by diving deeper into understanding how periods and menstrual cycles can be a window into overall health."

The study is ongoing, but of the participants who enrolled at the start in November 2019 and remained contributing through December 2021, 12% had PCOS.

What the study has helped determine includes how women with PCOS are four times more likely to have pre-diabetic conditions than those without it. They are also twice as likely to have high blood pressure.

Source: Apple Women's Health Study
Source: Apple Women's Health Study


The full report says that PCOS symptoms typically take years to be identified, but the study is helping determine risk factors that can be watched for.

"The level of research being conducted by the Apple Women's Health Study is important for having a better understanding of PCOS and its health impacts," said Dr Mahalingaiah, "including for people with PCOS and those that might have PCOS, but do not know."

The study requires participants to have an iPhone - and optionally an Apple Watch - and allow Health app data to be collected. Women who are menstruating are also asked to track their cycle in the Health App, or any other menstrual cycle tracking app that records data into the Apple Health app.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Intersting:  those with PCOS are almost twice as likely to be obese -- and obesity likely drives all those other conditions.

    BUT WAIT:  is it that those with PCOS are more likely to be obese?  Or those who are obese are more likely to have PCOS?

    Obesity / FAT has become a politicized term ("don't body shame me!") so people avoid talking about it.
    But, obesity is a contributing cause of most of our chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and more).
    Obesity / fat doesn't just lie there storing excess energy.  It is an endocrine organ and secretes sex hormones -- which is one reason why it is a probable cause of breast cancer.
    It may also be driving PCOS.
    edited February 2022 muthuk_vanalingampatchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 4
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,605member
    Intersting:  those with PCOS are almost twice as likely to be obese -- and obesity likely drives all those other conditions.

    BUT WAIT:  is it that those with PCOS are more likely to be obese?  Or those who are obese are more likely to have PCOS?

    Obesity / FAT has become a politicized term ("don't body shame me!") so people avoid talking about it.
    But, obesity is a contributing cause of most of our chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and more).
    Obesity / fat doesn't just lie there storing excess energy.  It is an endocrine organ and secretes sex hormones -- which is one reason why it is a probable cause of breast cancer.
    It may also be driving PCOS.
    George is banned finally. I will be missing his posts on health related topics.
    Oh no lol, what’d he say now? Probably related to the Russian thread, but I haven’t gone back to it yet. I disagree, vehemently, with pretty much anything he says that has a hint of politics in it, but I don’t want him banned. I like hashing out stuff with ppl on here. Better than going to some political forum where there are too many crazies, and trolls dominate (I say that as the recipient of some pretty vitriolic replies here on AI). 

    Anyway, I especially appreciated his health comments as well. He makes a good point here about fat. To add to it, fat cells also produce inflammatory cytokines like IL-6, which seems to be the primary mechanism behind obese peoples’ vulnerability to covid. As for PCOS, the endocrine disruption is what promotes obesity and other issues, like hirsutism (medical term for masculinization in females, like excess hair growth, enlarged clitoris, etc.) Commonly prescribed meds for PCOS include androgen blockers, and metformin (reduces insulin resistance). 
    I wouldn’t worry too much about him. I guarantee he’ll be back with a different username shortly, and nobody will be fooled. If only he limited his comments to the health articles. They were often quite insightful, as was this one here. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 4
    byronlbyronl Posts: 274member
    does anyone have any idea why apple would be interested don doing such studies? i do know they’re big about health but how do studies like this benefit their health initiatives? or is it more of a csr thing?
  • Reply 4 of 4
    Intersting:  those with PCOS are almost twice as likely to be obese -- and obesity likely drives all those other conditions.

    BUT WAIT:  is it that those with PCOS are more likely to be obese?  Or those who are obese are more likely to have PCOS?
    An interesting conjecture, but what seems to be happening is that women who are obese have worse symptoms of PCOS.

    Obesity doesn't seem to be causing PCOS. PCOS, though, does lead to a redistribution of fat leading to more central obesity.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18185060/
    ...just as the etiology of polycystic ovary syndrome is multifactorial, successful treatment will probably require a combination of lifestyle modification and therapeutic interventions.
    Also:
    Obesity contributes to the pathophysiology of polycystic ovary syndrome and increases the likelihood of associated metabolic and cardiovascular morbidities.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861983/
    In summary, PCOS is associated with defects in insulin sensitivity and secretion that are further exacerbated by obesity.


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