Objectives: There is strong epidemiological evidence that insulin resistance confers a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease independent of other cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of the study is to compare the insulin resistance levels in metabolic syndrome of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) with that of type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
Methods: The biological variation of IR was assessed by measuring IR at four day intervals on 10 consecutive occasions in 12 overweight patients with PCOS (median age, 28 yrs, range, 1831), 12 postmenopausal Caucasian subjects with T2DM (median age 62 yrs, range 5073), 11 healthy women with normal menstrual periods (median age 30 yrs, range 1933) and 11 healthy, weight matched, postmenopausal women (median age 56 yrs, range 4870). Insulin resistance was derived using the Homeostasis Model Assessment method (HOMA-IR) from fasting measures of serum insulin and plasma glucose. All subjects gave their informed written consent before entering the study and local ethical committee approval had been obtained.
Results: The HOMA-IR in women with PCOS was 5.85±5.3, in postmenopausal T2DM was 4.33±2.3, in pre-menopausal women was 1.67±0.63 and in postmenopausal women was 2.11±0.79. HOMA-IR did not differ significantly between women with PCOS as compared to postmenopausal women with T2DM, and were much higher than those seen in normal pre and postmenopausal women.
Conclusion: As insulin resistance is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, this implies that PCOS is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, similar to those with T2DM.