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Rhoda Cobin Part 2, Are Obesity and PCOS Correlated?




In part 2 of this Exclusive Interview, Rhoda Cobin talks with Diabetes in Control Medical Editor Joy Pape about obesity and PCOS.

Rhoda H. Cobin, MD, MACE is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Transcript of this video segment:

Pape: You said something earlier and I just wanted to clarify this. So, do you see this defect, PCOS, and women who have excess weight and obesity, or what about people who are lean?

Cobin: Okay. So, one of the things — when we talk about metabolic syndrome, we’re also talking about a condition called insulin resistance. And insulin resistance is kind of part and parcel of PCOS and can lead to impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose intolerance, and diabetes. So, when we talk about whether or not we’re looking at this population of people, we’re looking at people all along the spectrum of that disorder and trying to tease out who has what and when they have it and try to get to them early on in their lives, so that we can identify it and treat it.

Pape: Right. Because a lot of people think PCOS means obesity.

Cobin: It’s not just in obese people. So, yes, to answer your question. Some early studies that were done, oh, goodness, years and years ago indicated that there was insulin resistance even in lean PCOS women. That’s almost as bad or as bad as the insulin resistance that you see in obese women who don’t have PCOS. So, then when you add obesity on top of that then you amplify that insulin resistance and that risk. So, we don’t think PCOS necessarily causes obesity but obesity on top of PCOS is not a good combination. And obesity is so common now. Of course even if it’s not caused by PCOS, it’s very common in the population, so now we have a huge number of people who have PCOS and obesity on top of it. I think the figure in the United States now is at 90% of women who are studied with POCS have obesity. If you look in Europe or other places where obesity isn’t so prevalent it maybe is around 50%, so it’s an additive.

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