Background: PCOS is characterized from chronic anovulation, clinically expressed as menstrual irregularities, hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. A growing body of data indicates that PCOS is a life existing disease starting before puberty and lasting post menopause, as hormonal and metabolic changes exist through the life span of the patient. Since the presence of menstrual irregularities constitutes a prerequisite for the diagnosis of PCOS, we wonder if the timing that menstrual disorders appear has any effect on several parameters of PCOS.
Aim of the study: To compare anthropometric, hormonal, metabolic profile and ultrasound findings in PCOS women who presented menstrual disorders from menarche with the corresponding data obtained from patients who developed PCOS later in life.
Patients and methods: Eighty-nine PCOS women were evaluated. In 49 subjects menstrual irregularities were present from menarche (Group A), whereas in 40 women these irregularities emerge at least three years post menarche (Group B). In each subject clinical, hormonal and metabolic profile were assessed and in each subject ovarian ultrasound and OGTT were carried out.
Results: Anthropometric and clinical parameters were comparable among the two groups as well as hormonal-metabolic profile and ultrasound findings.
Conclusions: These data indicate that despite the timing that menstrual disorders are installed, clinical, hormonal, metabolic profile and ultrasound findings are not affected. These findings imply that regardless the timing of PCOS diagnosis, the lifetime course of the disease is in progress. Accordingly, early recognition of subjects prone to develop PCOS and lifestyle modification is mandatory in order to avoid long-term consequences of the disease.
25 - 29 Apr 2009
European Society of Endocrinology