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Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct;24(5):717-30. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2010.08.001.

Obstructive sleep apnea and metabolic dysfunction in polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, The University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Ave., Mail Code 1027, Chicago, IL, USA.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an underrecognized, yet significant factor in the pathogenesis of metabolic derangements in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Recent findings suggest that there may be two "subtypes" of PCOS, i.e. PCOS with or without OSA, and these two subtypes may be associated with distinct metabolic and endocrine alterations. PCOS women with OSA may be at much higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease than PCOS women without OSA and may benefit from therapeutic interventions targeted to decrease the severity of OSA. The present chapter will review what is currently known about the roles of sex steroids and adiposity in the pathogenesis of OSA, briefly review the metabolic consequences of OSA as well as the metabolic abnormalities associated with PCOS, review the prevalence of OSA in PCOS and finally present early findings regarding the impact of treatment of OSA on metabolic measures in PCOS.

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