In the News: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Heart Health

Dr. Katherine Sherif
, Director of Jefferson Women’s Primary Care and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) expert, recently spoke with Sasha Ottey on a PCOS Challenge podcast.pcos

PCOS is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women, affecting five to ten percent of women of childbearing age. PCOS can cause multiple cysts on ovaries and hormonal imbalance which can cause insulin resistance. Women with PCOS are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Dr. Sherif discussed ways for women with PCOS to prevent cardiovascular disease and to improve their overall health with Ottey.

“The most important thing you can do for your health is changing the way that you eat,” said Dr. Sherif.

She also emphasized exercise. Exercise will clean arteries and decrease plaque. Exercise also makes people more sensitive to insulin which can lower the risk of diabetes.

She encouraged women to skip the escalator and take the stairs because consistent physical activity adds up, as well as quitting smoking.

The important message Dr. Sherif wanted women with PCOS to understand is, “We can reverse this. You don’t have to die young from heart disease and stroke. It is within your control to control these risk factors.”

Dr. Sherif, Dr. William Schlaff, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Jefferson, and Dr. Andrea Braverman, a psychologist in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Jefferson, are participating in the PCOS Awareness Symposium on April 16th, 2016. The symposium gives women and girls affected by PCOS an opportunity to be proactive about their health. They are connected with experts who provide strategies and resources to control their symptoms and reduce their risk of life-threatening related diseases.

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