The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance according to the phenotypic subgroups of polycystic ovary syndrome in a representative sample of Iranian females

Ferdous Mehrabian, Behnaz Khani, Roya Kelishadi, Narges Kermani


  • BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with metabolic abnormalities which are also parts of metabolic syndrome (MetS). It is debated whether all women with PCOS should be screened for MetS and Insulin resistance (IR), since they may vary in terms of PCOS phenotype, ethnicity and age. This large scale study aimed to determine the prevalence of MetS among Iranian women diagnosed with different phenotypic subgroups of PCOS based on the Rotterdam criteria.
  • METHODS: This study was conducted from January 2006 to June 2008 in Isfahan, Iran. The study population comprised females diagnosed with PCOS referred to the infertility clinic. The subjects were divided into for subgroups according to different phenotypes of PCOS based on the Rotterdam criteria. They underwent metabolic screening according to NCEP ATP III guidelines and IR screening based on homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) of insulin resistance.
  • RESULTS: The prevalence of MetS and IR were 24.9% and 24.3%, respectively. A significant difference in the prevalence of MetS was documented between anovulatory women having PCOS with or without hyperandrogenism (23.1% and 13.9%, respectively; p = 0.001). Likewise, in PCOS women with hyperandrogenism, the MetS prevalence differed among those with or without polycystic ovary (23.1% and 63.8%, respectively; p = 0.001).
  • CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of MetS and IR varies between the phenotypic subgroups of PCOS. Hyperandrogenemia PCOS phenotypes of Iranian women, in particular those without sonographic polycystic ovary, are highly at risk of MetS and IR.
  • KEYWORDS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Rotterdam Criteria, Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance.

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