Gonadal hormones and stroke risk: PCOS as a case study.
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It is well known that stroke incidence and outcome is sex-dependent and influenced by age and gonadal hormones. In post-menopausal and/or aged females, declining estrogen levels increases stroke risk. However, women who experience early menopause also have an increase in stroke risk. This suggests that, regardless of age, gonadal hormones regulate stroke risk and severity. This review discusses prolonged gonadal hormone dysfunction in a common female endocrine disorder known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS, and the associated increased risk of stroke due to resulting hyperandrogenism and metabolic comorbidities.