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1.  Risk of Psychiatric Disorders following Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97041.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders among women of reproductive age. A higher prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities, including depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder has been proved in patients with PCOS. However, a clear temporal causal relationship between PCOS and psychiatric disorders has not been well established.
We explored the relationship between PCOS and the subsequent development of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disorder.
We identified patients who were diagnosed with PCOS by an obstetrician-gynecologist in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. A comparison cohort was constructed of patients without PCOS who were matched according to age and sex. The occurrence of subsequent new-onset psychiatric disorders was evaluated in both cohorts based on diagnoses made by psychiatrists.
The PCOS cohort consisted of 5431 patients, and the comparison cohort consisted of 21,724 matched control patients without PCOS. The incidence of depressive disorder (hazard ratio [HR] 1.296, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.084–.550), anxiety disorder (HR 1.392, 95% CI 1.121–1.729), and sleep disorder (HR 1.495, 95% CI 1.176–1.899) were higher among the PCOS patients than among the patients in the comparison cohort. In addition, a higher incidence of newly diagnosed depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disorder remained significantly increased in all of the stratified follow-up durations (0–1, 1–5, ≥5 y).
PCOS might increase the risk of subsequent newly diagnosed depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disorder. The risk of newly diagnosed bipolar disorder, which has often been reported in the literature to be comorbid with PCOS, was not significantly elevated.
PMCID: PMC4016227  PMID: 24816764
2.  Anthropometric and Biochemical Characteristics of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in South Indian Women Using AES-2006 Criteria 
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine conditions affecting women of reproductive age with a prevalence of approximately 5-10% worldwide. PCOS can be viewed as a heterogeneous androgen excess disorder with varying degrees of reproductive and metabolic abnormalities, whose diagnosis is based on anthropometric, biochemical and radiological abnormalities. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the anthropometric, biochemical and ultrasonographic characteristics of PCOS in Asian Indians of South India, using the Androgen Excess Society (AES-2006) diagnostic criteria.
To assess anthropometric, biochemical and ultrasonographic features of PCOS subgroups and controls among South Indian women using the AES-2006 criteria.
Materials and Methods:
Two hundred and four women clinically diagnosed with PCOS, and 204 healthy women controls aged 17 to 35 years were evaluated. PCOS was diagnosed by clinical hyperandrogenism (HA), irregular menstruation (IM), and polycystic ovary (PCO). PCOS was further categorized into phenotypic subgroups including the IM+HA+PCO (n = 181, 89%), HA+PCO (n = 23, 11%), IM+HA (n = 0), and also into obese PCOS (n = 142, 70%) and lean PCOS (n = 62, 30%) using body mass index (BMI). Anthropometric measurements and biochemical characteristics were compared among the PCOS subgroups.
The PCOS subgroups with regular menstrual cycles (HA+PCO), had more luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and high insulin resistance (IR) expressed as the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) score, compared with the IM+HA+PCO subgroups and controls. Similarly, the obese PCOS had high BMI, waist to hip ratio (WHR), fasting glucose, LH, LH/FSH, fasting insulin, HOMA score (IR), and dyslipidemia, compared with lean PCOS and controls. Unilateral polycystic ovary was seen in 32 (15.7%) patients, and bilateral involvement in 172 (84.3%) patients. All the controls showed normal ovaries.
Anthropometric, biochemical, and ultrasonographic findings showed significant differences among PCOS subgroups. The PCOS subgroups with regular menstrual cycles (HA+PCO), had high insulin resistance (IR) and gonadotropic hormonal abnormalities, compared with the IM+HA+PCO subgroups and controls.
PMCID: PMC3968989  PMID: 24696694
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome; Body Mass Index; HOMA Score; Insulin Resistance
3.  A survey of the use of complementary medicine by a self-selected community group of Australian women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex reproductive endocrinopathy affecting up to 20% of reproductive aged women. Whilst there are effective pharmaceutical treatment options, women with PCOS have expressed a strong desire for alternatives. This study investigates the use and attitudes of women with PCOS towards complementary medicine (CM).
Women as members of PCOS support groups responded to an anonymous on-line survey which examined rates and patterns of use for CM’s, areas of health for use, perceptions of effectiveness, safety and demographic features. Data collection targeted women with PCOS using two consumer support groups. The first group self-selected following direct email to members of a land based consumer support group, the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association of Australia (POSAA). The second sample was generated through the electronic social network Facebook, using a snowball technique. Two surveys, identical in content, were collected by cloud based Survey Monkey. Data were described and associations between the variables, ‘reasons for use’ and ‘perceptions of effectiveness’ were explored. Non-response bias was assessed using a continuum of resistance model.
493 women participated in the study; 91.1% response rate from the POSAA group. Over 70% reported use of complementary medicine, usually nutritional and herbal supplements and 76.6% of CM users reported consultation with a complementary practitioner. Many participants were using CM to treat PCOS however most were using it to concurrently treat a range of health conditions, describing women’s desire for more than single symptom management. Disadvantages for CM use were cited by 71% of respondents. Women using complementary medicine with specific treatment goals in mind reported greater self-perceived effectiveness, suggesting that informed use may improve women’s satisfaction with CM. Adverse reactions were reported by 12.2% of women and the need for further research into adverse reactions for CM’s was identified. Demographic and PCOS characteristics were similar to clinical populations of PCOS and non-response bias was shown as not significant.
This study describes the prevalence of use for complementary medicine by women with PCOS as over 70% and adds to our understanding of women’s experiences with CM and their motivations for use of CM.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-472) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4265410  PMID: 25481654
4.  Comparison of Endocrine Profile and In Vitro Fertilization Outcome in Patients with PCOS, Ovulatory PCO, or Normal Ovaries 
Aim. To compare the basic endocrine profile and outcomes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovulatory polycystic ovaries (PCO), or normal ovaries (NO). Methods. The basic clinical features and in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer outcome in patients receiving IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were retrospectively analyzed. Results. The body mass index, basal luteinizing hormone, and testosterone levels were significantly lower in patients with ovulatory PCO compared to those in patients with PCOS. The PCOS patients exhibited the shortest duration of ovarian stimulation and lowest dose of gonadotropin, followed by the ovulatory PCO and NO patients. The ovulatory PCO and PCOS patients showed similar levels of E2 on the human chorionic gonadotropin treatment day and numbers of oocytes, which were both significantly higher than those of the NO patients. The fertilization rate of the PCOS patients was significantly lower than the other two groups. Compared to NO patients, the cleavage rate was lower in both PCOS and ovulatory PCO patients, however, the number of available embryos was significantly more in these two groups. The incidence of the moderate to severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) was markedly higher in the PCOS and ovulatory PCO patients. Conclusion. Ovulatory PCO patients do not express similar endocrine abnormalities as PCOS patients. Although the fertilization rate and cleavage rate were relatively low in PCOS patients, ultimately, all the three groups showed similar transferred embryo numbers, clinical pregnancy rates, and implantation rates. Since the incidence of OHSS was much higher in the PCOS and ovulatory PCO patients, we should take more care of these patients and try to prevent severe OHSS.
PMCID: PMC3299229  PMID: 22518124
5.  Depression Symptoms and Body Dissatisfaction Association Among Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Women 
Journal of psychosomatic research  2011;71(4):270-276.
One publication reported that lower body satisfaction and lower education were independent predictors of depression in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) women. This study replicates that analysis using different instruments, and adds androgen levels to the model.
Cross-sectional analysis of questionnaires (Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-Report, Body Esteem Scale) and serum androgens from a community cohort with (n=94) and without (n=96) PCOS, matched by BMI category. Non-parametric tests, Spearman correlations, and negative binomial regression models were analyzed.
Depression symptoms were common (40–60% in lean, overweight and obese BMI categories) in the PCOS cohort, albeit generally of mild severity. The PCOS women had similar depression symptom severity (P > 0.20) and similar body dissatisfaction (P ≥ 0.25) as the regularly cycling women in total and stratified by BMI category. In both the PCOS and non-PCOS cohorts, depression symptom severity was positively correlated with dissatisfaction with physical appearance and physical conditioning (P < 0.02). Body dissatisfaction (especially perception of physical conditioning) was strongly associated with more severe depression symptoms in non-obese PCOS women (BMI<30, P < 0.04) before and after controlling for age, testosterone and free testosterone. In contrast, for obese women with PCOS, depression was unrelated to body dissatisfaction after controlling for age.
Among non-obese PCOS women, their subjective body image was strongly associated with the severity of their depression symptoms. Most of the obese PCOS cohort had low body satisfaction and depression symptoms, therefore individual differences in the body dissatisfaction scores were not helpful in identifying depression symptom severity. Neither testosterone nor free testosterone were associated with depression symptom severity in PCOS women after controlling for body dissatisfaction and age.
US Clinical Trials government registry, NCT00602940
PMCID: PMC3172572  PMID: 21911106
Androgens; Body image; Body mass index; Body satisfaction; Depression; Endocrinology; Polycystic ovary syndrome
6.  Physical activity and mental health in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:51.
Physical activity is prescribed as a component of primary management for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This study investigates the association between physical activity and mental health as well as the exercise barriers, motivators and support providers for younger women with and without PCOS to assist in physical activity uptake and prescription for these women.
Women aged 18-50 years with (n = 153) and without PCOS (n = 64) completed a questionnaire at one time point. The questionnaire included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and a survey regarding levels of physical activity, physical activity barriers, motivators and supports. A MANCOVA assessed associations between physical activity, PCOS and mental health (specifically depression and anxiety). Descriptive and Chi square goodness of fit statistics assessed the differences in perceived barriers, motivators and support providers amongst women with and without PCOS.
Women with PCOS displayed higher severity of depression (F(1,210) = 8.32, p = 0.004) and anxiety (F(1,210) = 17.37, p < 0.001) symptoms compared to controls. Overall, for physically active women, depression was significantly less severe than in their inactive counterparts (F(2,210) = 13.62, p < 0.001). There were no differences in anxiety by physical activity status and no interaction effects between PCOS and activity status for depression or anxiety. Women with PCOS were more likely to report a lack of confidence about maintaining physical activity (Χ 2  = 3.65; p = 0.046), fear of injury (Χ 2  = 4.08; p = 0.043) and physical limitations (Χ 2  = 11.92; p = 0.001) as barriers to physical activity and were more likely to be motivated to be active to control a medical condition (Χ 2  = 7.48; p = 0.006). Women with PCOS identified more sources of support compared to women without PCOS.
Physical activity is associated with lower depression in women with PCOS and differences exist in the self-reported physical activity barriers, motivators and support providers, compared to controls. Being more active may offer mental health benefits in managing PCOS. Prescribing physical activity to women with PCOS should be individualized and consider both common and PCOS-specific barriers and motivators for successful engagement.
PMCID: PMC3986680  PMID: 24674140
Depression; Anxiety; Exercise; Motivation; Chronic disease; PCOS; Polycystic ovary syndrome
7.  Anteroposterior diameter of the infrarenal abdominal aorta is higher in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Women affected by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are known to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to identify the artery that first is affected by early pre-atherosclerotic changes in PCOS.
Twenty-nine women with PCOS aged 17 to 27 years and 26 healthy nonhyperandrogenic volunteers with regular menses (control women) aged 16 to 28 years were enrolled. All PCOS patients were overweight or obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25). Diagnosis of PCOS was performed in line with the 2003 Rotterdam ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Accordingly, PCOS was defined when at least two of the following three features were present after exclusion of other etiologies: 1) oligomenorrhea and or anovulation; 2) hyperandrogenism and/or hyperandrogenemia; and 3) polycystic ovaries visible at ultrasound. Androgen excess or related disorders were excluded. The intima-media thickness (IMT) of common carotid arteries and common femoral arteries and the anteroposterior diameter of the infrarenal abdominal aorta were measured by ultrasound. Lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, total testosterone, androstenedione, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) serum levels were measured between the 3rd and the 6th day of spontaneous or progestin-induced menstrual cycle. Our study was performed in the absence of any medical treatment.
Women with PCOS showed a higher LH to FSH ratio (p < 0.01), increased fasting insulin (p < 0.001), total testosterone (p < 0.001), and androstenedione (p < 0.001) levels, and lower SHBG concentrations (p < 0.001) compared to control women. BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were also higher in women with PCOS (p < 0.000 and p < 0.001, respectively). Women with PCOS also showed increased total cholesterol (p < 0.001), triglyceride (p < 0.001), and apolipoprotein B (p < 0.001) levels. Vascular data showed women with PCOS had a higher anteroposterior diameter than control women (p < 0.005). However, when analysis of covariance was performed and BMI was entered into the model as a covariate, anteroposterior diameter did not maintain a significant association with PCOS.
This study shows that anteroposterior diameter of the infrarenal abdominal aorta, but not IMT of common carotid arteries or common femoral arteries, is higher in women with PCOS than in women without this disease. This represents the earliest atherosclerotic change in women with PCOS. However, this alteration seems to be due to body weight secondary to PCOS and not due to PCOS per se.
PMCID: PMC2704897  PMID: 19590590
polycystic ovary syndrome; antero-posterior diameter; infrarenal abdominal aorta; intimia-media thickness
8.  Risk of Cardiovascular Events in Mothers of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular events in an older population of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We took advantage of the high heritability of PCOS and determined the probable PCOS status of mothers of women with PCOS. Prevalence of cardiovascular events in PCOS and non-PCOS mothers was determined.
In a single endocrine clinic, 308 women with PCOS were interviewed about their mothers’ medical history, and the mothers themselves were interviewed if available. The interview covered menstrual history, fertility, clinical signs of hyperandrogenism, age of incident cardiovascular event, and age of death as reported by daughters. Presence of PCOS in the mothers was defined as history of infertility, irregular menses, or clinical signs of hyperandrogenism. Cardiovascular event was defined as fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction, any coronary intervention, angina requiring emergency room visits, or cerebrovascular event.
The mothers were predominantly postmenopausal. Among 182 interviewed (n=157) or deceased (n=25) mothers, 59 had probable PCOS. Cardiovascular events were more common (p=0.011) among PCOS mothers (11/59 or 18.6%) than non-PCOS mothers (5/123 or 4.1%). Adjusted for age and race, probable PCOS was an independent predictor of cardiovascular events (OR 5.41 95%CI 1.78−16.40). Cardiovascular events occurred at an early age in mothers of PCOS women, particularly mothers with PCOS themselves.
PCOS mothers of women with PCOS are at a higher risk of cardiovascular events compared with non-PCOS mothers, and cardiovascular events appear to occur at an earlier than expected age in PCOS mothers.
PMCID: PMC2639650  PMID: 19158047
Polycystic ovary syndrome; cardiovascular risk; cardiovascular events; familial polycystic ovary syndrome
9.  Acupuncture with manual and low frequency electrical stimulation as experienced by women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a qualitative study 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10 percent of all fertile women and is associated with anovulation/oligoovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Pharmacological treatment is often effective but associated with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture treatments have been shown to improve menstrual bleeding patterns and ovulation as well as hyperandrogenism, without side effects. The purpose of the present study was to describe the experience of acupuncture for women diagnosed with PCOS.
Eight women with PCOS living in western Sweden, were interviewed following repeated acupuncture treatments. Data was analyzed using systematic text condensation as described by Malterud.
The experience of acupuncture for women diagnosed with PCOS can be described in five categories; the experience of hope, getting results, feelings of responsibility, skepticism and proof of effect, and feeling normal.
Since acupuncture is a promising treatment for the symptoms of the common syndrome PCOS, the present study adds to the knowledge base by providing the important experiences of patients receiving the treatment. Acupuncture provides a possibility for patients to gain hope as the treatment shows results. The results show that acupuncture empowers the patients to take responsibility for their future well-being, although they may have been initially skeptical to the treatment. Because the syndrome had affected them for some time, even small changes offered a chance for them to feel that their bodies were capable of normal function.
Trial Registration
The trial is registered at Clinical with Identifier number NCT00484705.
PMCID: PMC3365875  PMID: 22471422
10.  Diagnostic Criteria for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Pitfalls and Controversies 
It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Canadian women may be afflicted with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Although PCOS is heralded as one of the most common endocrine disorders occurring in women, its diagnosis, management, and associated long-term health risks remain controversial. Historically, the combination of androgen excess and anovulation has been considered the hallmark of PCOS. To date, while these symptoms remain the most prevalent among PCOS patients, neither is considered an absolute requisite for the syndrome. Inclusion of ultrasonographic evidence of polycystic ovaries as a diagnostic marker has substantially broadened the phenotypic spectrum of PCOS, yet much debate surrounds the validity of these newly identified milder variants of the syndrome. Difficulty in resolving the spectrum of PCOS stems from the continued use of inconsistent and inaccurate methods of evaluating androgen excess, anovulation, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. At present, there is no clear-cut definition of biochemical hyperandrogenemia, particularly since we depend on poor laboratory standards for measuring androgens in women. Clinical signs of hyperandrogenism are ill-defined in women with PCOS, and the diagnosis of both hirsutism and polycystic ovarian morphology remains alarmingly subjective. Lastly, there is an inappropriate tendency to assign ovulatory status solely on the basis of menstrual cycle history or poorly timed endocrine measurements. In this review, we elaborate on these limitations and propose possible resolutions for clinical and research settings. By stimulating awareness of these limitations, we hope to generate a dialogue aimed at solidifying the evaluation of PCOS in Canadian women.
PMCID: PMC2893212  PMID: 18786289 CAMSID: cams574
Polycystic ovary syndrome; hyperandrogenism; hirsutism; menstruation disturbances; ultrasonography
11.  Epidemiology of polycystic ovary syndrome: a cross sectional study of university students at An-Najah national university-Palestine 
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common gynecological endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age. Despite its heavy burden on female reproduction and general health, there is no study regarding PCOS prevalence in Palestine. This study aims to establish prevalence of PCOS among female university students at An-Najah National University-Palestine and to explore its possible risk factors.
A cross sectional study was conducted on 137 female students using convenience sampling method for age group (18–24) years. PCOS cases were identified according to the National Institute of health (NIH) criteria through clinical interview and assessment for participants at the University clinics. Menstrual irregularities regarding cycle and flow were identified and clinical hyperandrogenism was assessed as the self-reported degree of hirsutism using the modified Ferriman Gallwey (mF-G) scoring method of more than 8 score. Biochemical hyperandrogenism for girls with menstrual irregularities was assessed by measuring free testosterone level. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 17 applying descriptive methods; different risk factor relationships were estimated using bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression.
The estimated prevalence of PCOS was 7.3% , acne was the only studied risk factor among others to be statistically significantly related to PCOS patients (OR = 8.430, P-value = 0.015). Clinical Hirsutism was found in 27% of participants, 70% of whom had idiopathic hirsutism.
Prevalence of PCOS in Palestine seems to be relatively high but similar to other Mediterranean statistics. We recommend further studies using wider age group and larger sample for all parts of Palestine in order to generalize results.
PMCID: PMC3661396  PMID: 23688000
Polycystic ovary syndrome; PCOS; Prevalence; Palestine
12.  Genetic Alterations within the DENND1A Gene in Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e77186.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disease among premenopausal women, is caused by both genes and environment. We and others previously reported association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the DENND1A gene and PCOS. We therefore sequenced the DENND1A gene in white patients with PCOS to identify possible alterations that may be implicated in the PCOS pathogenesis. Patients were referred with PCOS and/or hirsutism between 1998 and 2011 (n = 261). PCOS was diagnosed according to the Rotterdam criteria (n = 165). Sequence analysis was performed in 10 patients with PCOS. Additional patients (n = 251) and healthy female controls (n = 248) were included for SNP genotyping. Patients underwent clinical examination including Ferriman-Gallwey score (FG-score), biochemical analyses and transvaginal ultrasound. Mutation analysis was carried out by bidirectional sequencing. SNP genotyping was tested by allelic discrimination in real-time PCR in the additional patients and controls. Sequencing of the DENND1A gene identified eight SNPs; seven were not known to be associated with any diseases. One missense SNP was detected (rs189947178, A/C), potentially altering the structural conformation of the DENND1A protein. SNP genotyping of rs189947178 showed significantly more carriers among patients with PCOS and moderate hirsutism compared to controls. However, due to small sample size and lack of multiple regression analysis supporting an association between rs189947178 and FG-score or PCOS diagnosis, this could be a false positive finding. In conclusion, sequence analysis of the DENND1A gene of patients with PCOS did not identify alterations that alone could be responsible for the PCOS pathogenesis, but a missense SNP (rs189947178) was identified in one patient and significantly more carriers of rs189947178 were found among patients with PCOS and moderate hirsutism vs. controls. Additional studies with independent cohort are needed to confirm this due to the small sample size of this study.
PMCID: PMC3785455  PMID: 24086769
13.  Incorporating patient preference into the management of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Because of the heterogeneous nature of PCOS, women affected by the condition often require a customized approach for ovulation induction when trying to conceive. Treating symptoms of PCOS in overweight and obese women should always incorporate lifestyle changes with the goal of weight-loss, as many women with PCOS will ovulate after losing 5%–10% of their body weight. On the other hand, other factors must be considered including the woman’s age, age-related decline in fertility, and previous treatments she may have already tried. Fortunately, multiple options for ovulation induction exist for women with PCOS. This paper reviews specific ovulation induction options available for women with PCOS, the benefits and efficacy of these options, and the related side effects and risks women can anticipate with the various options that may affect treatment adherence. The paper also reviews the recommended evidence-based strategies for treating PCOS-related infertility that allow for incorporation of the patient’s preference. Finally, it briefly reviews emerging data and ongoing studies regarding newer agents that have shown great promise as first-line agents for the treatment of infertility in women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC3379865  PMID: 22723725
polycystic ovary syndrome; anovulation; clomiphene citrate; letrozole; metformin; obesity
14.  Body image satisfaction and self-esteem status among the patients with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Background: Most previous research has focused on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) characteristics and their association with psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Objective: In the present study, our aim was to study whether PCOS characteristics are associated with several aspects of psychological well-being namely self-esteem and body satisfaction.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 300 women with PCOS that was carried out in Kashan, Iran. Main outcome measures were the Body Image Concern Inventory (BICI) and the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale and clinical information of PCOS. Major clinical PCOS features including obesity (BMI), excessive body hair (hirsutism score), acne, menstrual cycle disturbances and infertility.
Results: The findings of regression analysis indicated that infertile women had lower levels of self-esteem (=-0.11, p=0.049) and poorer body satisfaction (=0.121, p=0.036) compared with PCOS women without infertility. Furthermore, hirsute women experienced poorer self-esteem than women without hirsutism (=-0.124, p=0.032). Women with menstrual irregularities had higher body dissatisfaction (=0.159, p=0.005). Moreover, women with higher body mass index scores had poorer body satisfaction (=0.151, p=0.009) but were not associated with self-esteem.
Conclusion: The emotional well-being of the patients presenting with the syndrome needs to be recognized more fully, particularly in relation to the low self-esteem, poor body image, and struggles with weight, menstrual irregularities, hirsutism and infertility. The results of this study raise implications for clinical practice and suggest that a multidisciplinary approach to the management of women with PCOS.
This article extracted from Ph.D. thesis. (Fatemeh Bazarganipour)
PMCID: PMC3941334  PMID: 24639704
Polycysticovarysyndrome; Self-esteem; Bodyimage.
15.  Study of Omentin1 and Other Adipokines and Hormones in PCOS Patients 
Oman Medical Journal  2009;24(2):108-118.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with insulin resistance and obesity. Recent studies have shown that plasma omentin-1 levels decrease with obesity. Currently, no data exists on the relative correlation between omentin-1 with other adipokines or the expression and regulation of omentin-1 in the serum of women with PCOS. The objective of this study is to evaluate the role of omentin-1 levels or omentin-1 /adipokines ratio in the serum of women with PCOS compared with matched control subjects.
The study involved 60 patients with PCOS and 30 women without PCOS who were used as controls. To examine the relationship between fasting serum omentin-1 and serum interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), resistin, ghrelin, leptin RBP-4 and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) levels in infertile PCOS and non-PCOS subjects. Also, insulin and other hormones were measured in both groups. All these factors were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
From the total of 60 cases, there was a significant increase (p<0.001) in PCOS patients when compared to the control group in fasting serum, serum interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), resistin, leptin RBP-4, tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) levels and insulin. A significant decrease in omentin-1 and ghrelin (p<0.001) was observed. The results also showed that 93.33% and 98.30% in PCOS patients had abnormal omentin1: Insulin ratio and omentin1: Resistin ratio respectively according to the cut off values ≤27.42 and ≤31.35. Moreover, 81.67% of PCOS patients had abnormal omentin1:IL-6 ratio according to the cut of value (≤66.09).
This is the first time the role of plasma omentin1 has been investigated with respect to its implication in PCOS. Usually, LH/FSH ratio and FAI (ratio of total testosterone to SHBG) are the important factors used for the diagnosis of PCOS in all previous literature, but none of them referred to the parameters discussed in this report. Also, the percentage of sensitivity and the difference between range of these parameters in PCOS patients and the controls may give a different perspective in trying to understand the etiology of PCOS. Therefore, these parameters may be used for future diagnosis of PCOS. This study also suggested that omentin/resistin ratio may play a crucial paracrine or endocrine role in modulating insulin sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC3273948  PMID: 22334855
16.  Polycystic ovary syndrome 
Canadian Family Physician  2007;53(6):1041-1047.
To construct and validate a questionnaire for use in diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
All participants completed a questionnaire, which asked clinical questions designed to assist in the diagnosis of PCOS, before their appointments with an endocrinologist. Following completion of the questionnaire, the endocrinologist (blinded to the answers) made or excluded a diagnosis of PCOS using clinical criteria and biochemical data as indicated. Questions were then evaluated for their power to predict PCOS, and a model was constructed using the most reliable items to establish a system to predict a diagnosis of PCOS.
An outpatient reproductive endocrinology clinic in Calgary, Alta.
Adult women patients who had been referred to the clinic. Fifty patients with PCOS and 50 patients without PCOS were included in the study.
Demographic information, medical history, related diagnoses, menstrual history, and fertility history.
A history of infrequent menses, hirsutism, obesity, and acne were strongly predictive of a diagnosis of PCOS, whereas a history of failed pregnancy attempts was not useful. A history of nipple discharge outside of pregnancy strongly predicted no diagnosis of PCOS. We constructed a 4-item questionnaire for use in diagnosis of PCOS; the questionnaire yielded a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 85% on multivariate logistic regression and a sensitivity of 77% and a specificity of 94% using the 4-item questionnaire. Predictive accuracy was validated using a second sample of 117 patients, in addition to internal validation using bootstrap analysis.
We have constructed a simple clinical tool to help diagnose PCOS. This questionnaire can be easily incorporated into family physicians’ busy practices.
PMCID: PMC1949220  PMID: 17872783
17.  Determination of the source of androgen excess in functionally atypical polycystic ovary syndrome by a short dexamethasone androgen-suppression test and a low-dose ACTH test 
Human Reproduction (Oxford, England)  2011;26(11):3138-3146.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients typically have 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17OHP) hyperresponsiveness to GnRH agonist (GnRHa) (PCOS-T). The objective of this study was to determine the source of androgen excess in the one-third of PCOS patients who atypically lack this type of ovarian dysfunction (PCOS-A).
Aged-matched PCOS-T (n= 40), PCOS-A (n= 20) and controls (n= 39) were studied prospectively in a General Clinical Research Center. Short (4 h) and long (4–7 day) dexamethasone androgen-suppression tests (SDAST and LDAST, respectively) were compared in subsets of subjects. Responses to SDAST and low-dose adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) were then evaluated in all.
Testosterone post-SDAST correlated significantly with testosterone post-LDAST and 17OHP post-GnRHa (r = 0.671–0.672), indicating that all detect related aspects of ovarian dysfunction. An elevated dehydroepiandrosterone peak in response to ACTH, which defined functional adrenal hyperandrogenism, was similarly prevalent in PCOS-T (27.5%) and PCOS-A (30%) and correlated significantly with baseline dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) (r = 0.708). Functional ovarian hyperandrogenism was detected by subnormal testosterone suppression by SDAST in most (92.5%) PCOS-T, but significantly fewer PCOS-A (60%, P< 0.01). Glucose intolerance was absent in PCOS-A, but present in 30% of PCOS-T (P < 0.001). Most of the PCOS-A cases with normal testosterone suppression in response to SDAST (5/8) lacked evidence of adrenal hyperandrogenism and were obese.
Functional ovarian hyperandrogenism was not demonstrable by SDAST in 40% of PCOS-A. Most of these cases had no evidence of adrenal hyperandrogenism. Obesity may account for most hyperandrogenemic anovulation that lacks a glandular source of excess androgen, and the SDAST seems useful in making this distinction.
PMCID: PMC3196876  PMID: 21908468
glucose intolerance; functional adrenal hyperandrogenism; functional ovarian hyperandrogenism; obesity
18.  The Experience of Women Affected by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Qualitative Study From Iran 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common chronic endocrine disorder. It has significant and diverse clinical consequences including reproductive, metabolic, and psychological morbidities as well as predisposition to malignancies. It is unclear how women with PCOS experience symptoms of this syndrome.
The aim of this study was to clarify the dimensions and components of quality of life in iranian women with PCOS.
Patients and Methods:
This study was a qualitative study to explore and document perceptions of women with PCOS about their disorder and quality of life. Semi-structured interviews with open ended questions were conducted with 23 women with PCOS. The interviews were continued to reach data saturation. The study was conducted in the Reproductive Endocrinology Research Center of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. All the interviews were recorded and transcribed. Constant comparative analysis of the data was conducted manually according to the Strauss and Corbin analysis method.
The study revealed that the most important factors affecting quality of life in women with PCOS were the role functioning items as well as physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, and social dimensions.
Comprehensive cares concerning various mental, emotional, cognitive, and social dimensions of quality of life should be planned for women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC4013493  PMID: 24829583
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Quality of Life; Qualitative Study; Experience
19.  Anthropometric characteristics and dietary pattern of women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. PCOS is considered to be not only a reproductive endocrinopathy, but also a metabolic disorder. The objective of the present study was to characterize the anthropometric and dietary profile of women with PCOS and to compare it with that of healthy age-matched women.
In this case-control study, 65 women with PCOS served as cases. The control group consisted of 65 age-matched healthy women. For each participant, demographic, anthropometric and dietary intake data were gathered and compared between the two groups.
There was no significant difference between the mean of the body mass index of the two groups, but the mean of waist circumference was significantly higher in the PCOS group, than the control group (P = 0.016). Compared to the normal weight PCOS patients, a significantly higher percentage of overweight patients had hirsutism (P = 0.009). In dietary analysis, women with PCOS consumed more calories and more fat than healthy women (P = 0.001 and P = 0.019, respectively).
It is concluded that in PCOS patients, android obesity is a common feature and this abdominal adiposity may be related to the syndrome's complications. PCOS symptoms were more severe in overweight patients than the normal weight. Regarding the dietary pattern, it was indicated that patients with PCOS consume more calories and more fat in their diets and this might have been correlated to their disease.
PMCID: PMC3743368  PMID: 23961484
Diet; hirsutism; obesity; polycystic ovary syndrome
20.  Do South Asian women with PCOS have poorer health-related quality of life than Caucasian women with PCOS? A comparative cross-sectional study 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common chronic endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. This study aimed to compare the HRQoL of South Asian and white Caucasian women with PCOS, given that it is particularly common among women of South Asian origin and they have been shown to have more severe symptoms.
The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Questionnaire (PCOSQ) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) were administered in a cross-sectional survey to 42 South Asian and 129 Caucasian women diagnosed with PCOS recruited from the gynaecology outpatient clinics of two university teaching hospitals in Sheffield and Leeds. Additional clinical data was abstracted from medical notes. Normative data, collected as part of the Oxford Health and Lifestyles II survey, was obtained to compare SF-36 results with ethnically matched women from the general UK population. Using the SF-36, normative HRQoL scores for women of South Asian origin were lower than for Caucasian women. Given this lower baseline we tested whether the same relationship holds true among those with PCOS.
Although HRQoL scores for women with PCOS were lower than normative data for both groups, South Asian women with PCOS did not have poorer HRQoL than their Caucasian counterparts. For both the SF-36 and PCOSQ, mean scores were broadly the same for both Asian and Caucasian women. For both groups, the worst two HRQoL domains as measured on the PCOSQ were 'infertility' and 'weight', with respective scores of 35.3 and 42.3 for Asian women with PCOS compared to 38.6 and 35.4 for Caucasian women with PCOS. The highest scoring domain for South Asian women with PCOS was 'menstrual problems' (55.3), indicating best health, and was the only statistically significant difference from Caucasian women (p = 0.01). On the SF-36, the lowest scoring domain was 'Energy & Vitality' for Caucasian women with PCOS, but this was significantly higher for Asian women with PCOS (p = 0.01). The best health status for both groups was 'physical functioning', although this was significantly lower for South Asian women with PCOS (p = 0.005). Interestingly, only two domains differed significantly from the normative data for the Asian women with PCOS, while seven domains were significantly different for the Caucasian women with PCOS compared to their normative counterparts.
The HRQoL differences that exist between South Asian and Caucasian women in the general population do not appear to be replicated amongst women with PCOS. PCOS reduces HRQoL to broadly similar levels, regardless of ethnicity and differences in the normative baseline HRQoL of these groups.
PMCID: PMC3024276  PMID: 21171983
21.  Female Gender Scheme is Disturbed by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Qualitative Study From Iran 
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy affecting up to one in every five women of reproductive age. The majority of researches on PCOS focus on its biomedical aspects, often overlooking and neglecting women’s own perceptions and experiences.
This study aimed to explore women’s perception and experiences that influence their personal gender role.
Patients and Methods:
This research is a qualitative study by conventional content analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 reproductive aged women with PCOS, recruited from the reproductive endocrinology research center. , in-depth interviews were continued to reach data saturation. The study was carried out at the reproductive endocrinology research center of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran All the interviews were recorded and transcribed, and qualitative content analysis of the data was conducted manually.
Four themes were identified. Content analysis of the interviews revealed these women mainly perceived themselves with lack of physical attractiveness, loss of womanhood, interruption of sexual role and disruption of fertility potential, feelings were related to symptoms e.g. ‘excess’ hair; absent or disrupted menstrual cycle, obesity and infertility commonly experienced by women with PCOS.
Women with PCOS are challenged in their perceptions of themselves as “feminine” because of their hairy appearance, irregular menses and lack of fertility and this influences their gender roles. Medical practitioners must understand how PCOS precisely affects women’s roles and initiate management aimed at reconstructing their “womanhood”, along with their medical treatment.
PMCID: PMC3965857  PMID: 24719724
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Qualitative Research; Hirsutism; Gender Identity; Femininity
22.  Dyslipidemia in women with polycystic ovary syndrome 
Obstetrics & Gynecology Science  2013;56(3):137-142.
Dyslipidemia is a very common metabolic abnormality in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Insulin resistance is a key pathophysiology of PCOS, thus dyslipidemia in women with PCOS may be consistent with those found in an insulin resistant state. In recent meta-analysis, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels were 26 mg/dL and 12 mg/dL higher, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration was 6 mg/dL lower in women with PCOS than those of controls. Alterations in LDL quality also have been reported in women with PCOS: women with PCOS have an increased proportion of atherogenic small dense LDL or decreased mean LDL particle size. However, in a recent Korean study, non-obese Korean women with PCOS had no significant quantitative or qualitative changes in LDL cholesterol profile. Lipoprotein (a) has been identified as an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, and its elevation in PCOS patients has been consistently reported in diverse studies including non-obese Korean population. Some studies have investigated apolipoprotein (Apo) A-I and ApoC-I levels in women with PCOS and levels of ApoA-I, which has cardio-protective effects, were significantly lower in women with PCOS than those of controls. ApoC-I is known to increase the postprandial serum lipid level that is common in coronary artery disease patients, and one study reported that such an elevation may be the earliest variation of lipid abnormality in women with PCOS. In conclusion, women with PCOS should receive a complete lipid test, and lifestyle modification, including diet and exercise, is the first line therapy for all women with PCOS and is particularly important for those with dyslipidemia.
PMCID: PMC3784112  PMID: 24327994
Dyslipidemia; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Polycystic ovary syndrome
23.  Prevalence of cervical insufficiency in polycystic ovarian syndrome 
Human Reproduction (Oxford, England)  2012;27(9):2837-2842.
Pregnant women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) experience a greater rate of adverse obstetrical outcomes compared with non-PCOS women. We examined the prevalence and incidence of cervical insufficiency (CI) in a community cohort of pregnant women with and without PCOS.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted within a large integrated health care delivery system among non-diabetic PCOS women with second or third trimester delivery during 2002–2005 (singleton or twin gestation). PCOS was defined by Rotterdam criteria. A non-PCOS comparison group matched for delivery year and hospital facility was used to estimate the background rate of CI. Women were designated as having new CI diagnosed in the index pregnancy (based on cervical dilation and/or cervical shortening) and prior CI based on prior diagnosis of CI with prophylactic cerclage placed in the subsequent pregnancy.
We identified 999 PCOS women, of whom 29 (2.9%) had CI. There were 18 patients with new CI and 11 with prior CI having prophylactic cerclage placement; four CI patients had twin gestation. In contrast, only five (0.5%) non-PCOS women had CI: two with new CI and three with prior CI. The proportion of newly diagnosed incident CI (1.8 versus 0.2%) or prevalent CI (2.9 versus 0.5%) was significantly greater for PCOS compared with non-PCOS pregnant women (both P < 0.01). Among PCOS women, CI prevalence was particularly high among South Asians (7.8%) and Blacks (17.5%) compared with Whites (1%) and significantly associated with gonadotropin use (including in vitro fertilization). Overall, the PCOS status was associated with an increased odds of prevalent CI pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio 4.8, 95% confidence interval 1.5–15.4), even after adjusting for maternal age, nulliparity, race/ethnicity, body mass index and fertility treatment.
In this large and ethnically diverse PCOS cohort, we found that CI occurred with a higher than expected frequency in PCOS women, particularly among South Asian and Black women. PCOS women with CI were also more likely to have received gonadotropin therapy. Future studies should examine whether natural and hormone-altered PCOS is a risk factor for CI, the role of race/ethnicity, fertility drugs and consideration for heightened mid-trimester surveillance in higher risk subgroups of pregnant women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC3415288  PMID: 22698930
polycystic ovarian syndrome; cervical insufficiency; obstetrics; race ethnicity
24.  A new perspective in diagnosing polycystic ovary syndrome. 
Recently, the term of "possible" polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been used for defining cases in which biochemical evaluations are incomplete but clinical phenotypes are suggestive of PCOS. The aim of this study was, by using Rotterdam 2003 criteria, to detect possible PCOS cases and compare their characteristics and insulin sensitivity status with confirmed PCOS subjects. One-hundred-eighteen women who admitted with complaints and symptoms suggesting PCOS were included. Insulin sensitivity status of the cases was calculated with Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR). Cases fulfilling Rotterdam 2003 criteria were defined as confirmed PCOS, whereas indeterminate subjects as possible PCOS. Confirmed PCOS was detected in 70 (59.3%) and possible PCOS in 48 (40.7%) cases. Confirmed PCOS was most prevalent among subjects with hirsutism and menstrual dysfunction; 32 (80.0%) vs. 8 (20%), (p=0.000). Body mass index and HOMA-IR values did not differ between groups: confirmed PCOS versus possible PCOS; 25.46+/-5.55 kg/m(2) vs. 26.75+/-7.55 kg/m(2), 3.37+/-4.12 vs. 3.21+/-2.50, (p>0.05). Family history of type-2 diabetes mellifus was similar within both groups (p>0.05). Many PCOS patients seem to be undiagnosed due to inadherence to diagnostic work-up and/or to not fulfill Rotterdam 2003 criteria. These criteria may not be sufficient to cover the entire spectrum of PCOS.
PMCID: PMC2569430  PMID: 17366951
25.  Carotid intima-media thickness in mainly non-obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome and age-matched controls 
Obstetrics & Gynecology Science  2013;56(4):249-255.
Metabolic disturbances are well-recognized clinical features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) has been widely used as a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). CIMT in women with PCOS has been investigated in many studies, but there has been only one report in the Korean population. The aim of the present study was to compare the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in young untreated Korean women with PCOS and age-matched controls, specifically by measuring their CIMT.
CIMT was measured by one radiologist in 56 PCOS patients and 56 controls. To compare the CIMT according to PCOS phenotypes, women with PCOS were divided into two subgroups according to the presence of hyperandrogenism.
Although PCOS patients were more obese and had higher blood pressure and insulin resistance index than the age-matched controls, the CIMT was not different between the two groups (0.49 ± 0.09 mm in PCOS patients vs. 0.50 ± 0.11 mm in controls, respectively, p = 0.562). When the CIMT in the control group was compared with hyperandrogenic and non-hyperandrogenic PCOS groups, also no significant differences were found.
Despite the significant differences in some vascular risk factors between women with PCOS and controls, PCOS patients did not have a significantly higher CIMT (even in the hyperandrogenic subgroups). Although our study did not show the increased risk of subclinical atherosclerosis in PCOS patients, the role of CIMT continues to be investigated considering the importance of screening and monitoring CVD risk factors in women with PCOS.
PMCID: PMC3784140  PMID: 24328010
Atherosclerosis; Carotid intima-media thickness; Insulin resistance; Polycystic ovary syndrome

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