Endocrine Abstracts (2009) 20 S1.1

Obesity, type 2 diabetes and PCOS: a common origin?

Bulent O Yildiz


Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism Unit, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.


Obesity and type 2 diabetes are common and complex traits that are closely related and the term ‘diabesity’ is being used for the twin global epidemic of these two disorders. PCOS is another common and complex disorder characterized by androgen excess, oligo-anovulation and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound. PCOS is linked with both obesity and type 2 diabetes. Although obesity and type 2 diabetes are not universally observed in PCOS, many women with PCOS are obese and the risk and prevalence of type 2 diabetes are significantly increased in PCOS. Alternatively, limited available data suggest an increased prevalence of PCOS in women with type 2 diabetes. Lastly, obesity is recognized as a major contributor to considerable variation in severity and expression of PCOS phenotype. Obesity, particularly the abdominal type, has significant impact on androgen excess and oligo-anovulation of PCOS through various mechanisms. Although underlying genetic and environmental factors are not fully understood for the linkage among obesity, type 2 diabetes and PCOS, insulin resistance appears to be a common denominator of these three disorders.

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