Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age and is the leading cause of female infertility. Though not a diagnostic criterion, cardiometabolic dysfunction with insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and/or obesity is often a life-long comorbidity.
Because the understanding of the pathophysiology of PCOS is incomplete, clinical care is currently confined to managing the manifestations of PCOS rather than treating the underlying cause. Existing clinical and genetic evidence have shown that genetic risk for PCOS is associated with cardiometabolic and hyperandrogenic conditions in both women and men.
My work shows that genetic risk factors for PCOS have sex-biased effects in childhood. Further characterizing and understanding the molecular pathways that underlie these genetic risk factors in women, men, and children could not only shed light on the pathogenesis of PCOS, but also could provide insights into how to intervene to prevent PCOS and its associated conditions in children.