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Rhoda Cobin Part 1, PCOS Effects on Diabetes

In part 1 of this Exclusive Interview, Rhoda Cobin talks with Diabetes in Control Medical Editor Joy Pape about why the medical community of varying expertise should be concerned about 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: Hi. I’m Joy Pape with Diabetes in Control and we’re here in Boston at AACE 2018. And I have to say, I’m so excited to be talking to Dr. Cobin. She’s going to be talking about PCOS, a subject so near and dear to my heart. I’m going to go no further than just getting to asking you some questions.

Cobin: Sure.  

Pape: Why is PCOS a concern for diabetes general medicine community?

Cobin: Well Joy, the main reason it’s such great concern to the general medical community, not just to obstetricians and gynecologists, is that PCOS, first of all, is the most common endocrine disorder of women of the reproductive age. And secondly, besides its frequency, it’s a serious illness and it’s associated with very serious consequences that are not simply reproductive or cosmetic. PCOS is very highly associated with type 2 diabetes, impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, metabolic syndrome which has many consequences, and finally, even cardiovascular risk. So, over the years as we’ve been looking at PCOS in this large population of women, we’re seeing even from a rather young age increased risk, increased components of the metabolic syndrome, increased risk of impaired fasting glucose that then can progress to full blown diabetes. So, how many people are we talking about? The last time I talked to you about this, there was a census in 2000, since then the 2010 census has actually found more women of reproductive age. I can’t remember the total number. But the total number of people with PCOS, if it’s 7% or 8% of that population is somewhere over 8 million women. And if those 8 million women have somewhere around a 30% or 40% chance of having impaired fasting glucose, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, we’re talking about three or four million women. So, this is a really common problem and it’s a very serious problem. And that’s why everybody needs to know it, not just endocrinologists but people who see children, because we see it now in the pediatric age group, people who see women in any age groups, dermatologists because there are some dermatologic manifestations of PCOS that should alert them to look for this disorder, diabetes educators, obviously, and anyone who is practicing medicine in the family setting that might be able to identify people and say, “Oh, well, maybe you have this,” and maybe we should then go further with some testing.

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