Clinical Edge

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PCOS & Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Am J Obstet Gynecol; 2017 Aug; Chan, Kar, et al

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome components varies in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) based on race and ethnicity, a recent study found. The regional cross-sectional study compared the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and clustering of its components in 1,089 women (median age 28 years) with PCOS in the US with women in India, Finland, and Norway from 1999 through 2016. The main outcome measures included: metabolic syndrome prevalence, blood pressure, BMI, fasting high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), fasting triglycerides, and fasting glucose. Researchers found:

  • Age-adjusted odds ratio for metabolic syndrome was highest in US black women at 4.52 compared with US white women.
  • When adjusted for age and BMI, the prevalence was similar in the 2 groups.
  • Significantly more black women met BMI and blood pressure criteria, and fewer met triglycerides criteria.
  • Women from India and Norway had a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome independent of obesity.


Chan JL, Kar S, Vanky E, et al. Racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components of metabolic syndrome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A regional cross-sectional study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017;217(2): 189.e1 - 189.e8. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.04.007.