Metabolic Syndrome May Raise Insulin Resistance in PCOS


In women with polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance may be more severe in those with metabolic syndrome than in those without it, according to the results of a cross-sectional study of 113 women with PCOS.

The findings suggest that even young women with PCOS should be screened for metabolic disturbances to more effectively prevent cardiovascular events later in life, wrote Dr. Hwi Ra Park of the Ewha Woman's University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues.

Women in the study had a mean age of 26 years and a 15% prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS)—lower than in other studies of PCOS patients in the United States (43%–46%) and Germany (31%). In comparison, MS prevalence is about 4% in the general urban population of age-matched Korean women and about 6% in American women aged 20–29 years (Diabetes Res. Clin. Pract. 2007;77[suppl. 1]:S243–6).

Investigators measured the five components that make up the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III,

Compared with women who didn't have MS, those with MS had a significantly higher body mass index, waist girth, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, fasting glucose, and triglycerides. Levels of HDL cholesterol, sex hormone-binding globulin, and luteinizing hormone were significantly lower in women with MS.

The results of a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test that was performed in the morning after an overnight fast showed that plasma glucose and insulin levels were significantly higher in women with MS than in those without it.

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