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NIH Panel: Name Change, New Priorities Advised for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Tracy Hampton, PhD
JAMA. 2013;309(9):863. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1236.
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An estimated 5 million women in the United States live with a clinical paradox: they have a common hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome, but many don't have ovarian cysts. The obvious discrepancy is just one of the reasons why an independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that the syndrome's name is too confusing, and it hinders progress in research and effective patient care.

“We believe it is time to assign a name that reflects the complex metabolic, hypothalamic, pituitary, ovarian, and adrenal interactions to characterize polycystic ovary syndrome,” said panel member Robert Rizza, MD, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

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Experts recommend changing the name of polycystic ovary syndrome, which has many potential symptoms, and doing more research to improve diagnosis and treatment.



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