A New Study Reveals Girls With Type 2 Diabetes Have A Higher Risk For Ovarian Cysts

Health experts have suspected for years that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), per Healthline. Simply put, with type 2 diabetes, the body doesn't use the hormone insulin correctly, per the American Diabetes Association. PCOS is a condition linked to several hormones, including insulin. PCOS combined with insulin resistance can increase the odds of infertility and early miscarriage, according to Verywell Health. Having PCOS can also raise a woman's chance of developing gestational diabetes while pregnant. 

Since both conditions are related to insulin resistance, it's not hard to believe that each may contribute to the development of the other, per Verywell Health. In fact, research has shown that women with PCOS have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes, per Endocrine Society. The study showed that the odds of women with PCOS developing diabetes were four times greater than for women who did not have PCOS. Now new research shows a link between type 2 diabetes and PCOS in young girls.

The study found teenage girls at risk

A 2022 study published in JAMA showed that girls diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing PCOS. Data reviewing six studies involving 470 girls with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 12 and 16 found that PCOS prevalence was nearly 20%. The author of the study, Dr. M. Constantine Samaan, associate professor of pediatrics at McMaster University, tells U.S. News & World Reports, "There's more work to be done to explore the genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors that can explain this association."

Dr. Laurie Cohen, chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City, emphasized screening to raise awareness and early treatment for type 2 diabetes and PCOS. "Individuals with PCOS are at increased risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, so should be screened for these conditions, and individuals with obesity or type 2 diabetes mellitus should be screened for PCOS" (via U.S. News & World Reports).