Metabolic syndrome in Mediterranean women with polycystic ovary syndrome: When and how to predict its onset

Juan J. Espinós-Gómez, J. Rodriguez-Espinosa, J. Ordóñez-Llanos, J. Calaf-Alsina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The metabolic disorders are not universal and may vary with race, age and phenotype. Our purpose was to determine the clinical and biochemical characteristics of Mediterranean PCOS women with MetS, compare them with non-MetS PCOS patients, and assess the ability of clinical data and biochemical tests to predict these abnormalities within our population. A total of 218 subjects, 196 PCOS women and 22 controls, undergo a physical examination and laboratory evaluation for a diagnosis of MetS. MetS was categorized according to NCEP ATP III guidelines. PCOS patients were analyzed separately and compared in three subgroups: three or more MetS criteria, two criteria, one or no criteria. The overall prevalence of MetS was 21.4%. Women with MetS had higher glucose (G) levels than PCOS women with two criteria (5.7±1.5 vs 5±0.4, p<0.05). Both groups were comparable for all the other parameters. Waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), bioavailable testosterone (uT), triglycerides (TG) and insulin (I) levels were significantly higher and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), HOMA and QUICKI indexes significantly lower in both groups, MetS and patients with two criteria, compared with women with one or no criteria and the control group. WC, HDL and TG were the best predictors of PCOS patients at risk for MetS. In conclusion, we recommend considering PCOS patients with two criteria of MetS as having the same risk as patients with the full syndrome. Waist circumference with HDL and triglycerides is an efficient combined test to identify PCOS women at risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-268
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome


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