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Jun 26, 2014 01:41 AM EDT

Women with PCOS More Prone to Developing Type-2 Diabetes: Study

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Women diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), even if they are young and not obese, face a heightened risk of developing type-2 diabetes, according to a Monash University study. Researchers said that the risk is three to five times higher in women with PCOS.

According to WebMD, PCOS is a medical condition in which a woman suffers from hormonal imbalance. The hormonal disorder is one of the leading causes of infertility among women. The Stein Leventhal syndrome causes irregular menstrual cycle, excessive hair growth, acne and obesity among others.

For the study, the researchers analysed Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health. The study included more than 6000 women of aged between 25-28 years who were observed for nine years until they reached the age group of 34-39 years in 2012. The group also comprised of 500 women who were diagnosed with PCOS.

The researchers did not find any link between obesity and PCOS.

"Type-2 diabetes itself is preventable, as are diabetes complications, but only if people at risk of or who have diabetes are screened, aware and take preventative action," Professor Helena Teede said in a statement. "With the dramatic rise in diabetes, this research highlights the need for greater awareness and screening, especially in high risk groups including young women with PCOS."

Teede said that current diabetes screening guidelines recommend screening over 40 years of age. The guidelines need to be re-evaluated in women with PCOS. If the condition is left undiagnosed during peak reproductive year, diabetes can pose significant risk to mothers and babies.

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