Women sought for study on hormonal disorder

Friday, 28 March 2008

University of Adelaide cardiology researchers are seeking female volunteers aged 20-60 years for a study on possible links between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and heart attacks.

The syndrome is a common hormonal disorder affecting about 10% of women of reproductive age and is a leading cause of infertility.

The principal features of PCOS are obesity, irregular periods and excessive amounts of androgenic (or masculine) hormones resulting in a hairier body and acne.

PCOS is also associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which are all high risk factors for heart attacks according to Professor John Horowitz, Head of Cardiology and Dr Alicia Chan, Cardiologist at the University of Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

"We are interested in finding out the link between PCOS and heart disease as it may give us a better understanding into the causes of heart disease in women, who now make up almost half of Australians affected," Professor Horowitz says.

Previous studies show that several early markers of heart disease, such as calcium deposits in blood vessels, are increased in PCOS individuals.

Professor Horowitz says that his team of researchers have already found that young women with PCOS have abnormal blood clotting and blood vessel function, irrespective of whether they are overweight.

"We want to know whether these anomalies persist as PCOS sufferers age, and whether common treatments for PCOS (metformin and oral contraceptives) affect the anomalies," he says.

Participants in the study will be required to have a blood test and their blood vessel function will be assessed with a small ultrasound probe on their wrist.

Female volunteers with and without PCOS are required for the study. They must be aged between 20-60 years. People interested are asked to contact Dr Alicia Chan from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on (08) 8222 6000.


Contact Details

Dr Alicia Chan
Email: wai.chan@adelaide.edu.au
Cardiologist, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
PhD student, Robinson Institute
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8222 7539 (Cardiology)
Mobile: 0421 913 387
Other: +61 8 8222 6000 (switchboard)

Dr John Horowitz
Email: john.horowitz@adelaide.edu.au
Head of Cardiology
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8222 6342

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762