Endocrine Abstracts (2004) 7 P73

A comparison of the impact of exercise in Asian and Caucasian women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

A Banerjee1, G Bano2 & R Kaushal3

1Department of Endocrinology, West Middlesex University Hosptal, Isleworth, UK; 2Department of Endocrinology, St. George's Hospital, Tooting, UK; 3Department of Endocrinology, West Middlesex University Hospital, Isleworth, UK.

Background: Hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance is observed in both lean and obese women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This condition affects 52% of Asian Indian compared to 22% of Caucasian women. Lifestyle changes, particularly diet and exercise can significantly impact the future prevention of type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia and hypertension in these patients.

Objectives: We hypothesised that regular intensive exercise would be effective in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing total body fat in these patients.

Methods: 20 Asian Indian and 20 Caucasian women with confirmed PCOS and Obesity (BMI > 25) matched for age and BMI and of reproductive age were studied. All members underwent an intensive aerobic and resistance exercise regimen (60 minutes 5 times a week) under supervision for 6 months. Fasting lipid profiles and fat free body mass (FFBM) were measured at the beginning and the end of the study. Short insulin tolerance tests were performed with the calculation of KITT.


Asian women had higher basal total body fat contents than Caucasian women , P = 0.005, and were more insulin resistant P = 0.002. Total weight reduction during exercise was comparable (mean 6.2 Kg).

Insulin sensitivity in response to exercise improved more significantly in Caucasian women (P = < 0.005) combined with a greater reduction in total body fat and increase in FFBM ( P =0.009). There was however a significant improvement to both insulin sensitivity and FFBM in Asian women in response to exercise P < 0.005 for both values.

Conclusion :Asian women with PCOS are more insulin resistant, have a greater total body fat than Caucasian women and the effects of exercise are less beneficial. This could be explained by genetic differences in adipose tissue.

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