Experts at the Hull York Medical School have launched a major new research project focusing on weight management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common hormone condition in women of reproductive age, affecting up to 20% women in this age group both globally and in the UK.
Obesity is one of the traits associated with the condition along with hirsutism (unwanted hair), oligmenorrhoea (infrequent periods), reduced fertility and increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in women with PCOS.
The study will explore the effects of two different diets: a very low-calorie diet (800 calories per day for the first eight weeks) and what is described as an energy deficit diet (current daily energy requirements, minus 600kcal/d to induce weight loss) for 16 weeks.
Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Professor of Endocrinology at Hull York Medical School, said up to 80% of women with PCOS were overweight or obese.
He said: “Diet and lifestyle changes to promote weight loss among obese women with PCOS can improve many aspects of the condition including fertility and the development of type 2 diabetes, although the effect of one particular weight loss diet remains largely unexplored.”