Objectives: To examine the effect on weight change of diet/lifestyle advice to maintain/achieve a healthy weight in an unselected PCOS population.
Methods: All overweight patients attending the Reproductive Endocrine clinic with PCOS are routinely given lifestyle advice for weight loss by their consultant, offered referral to see a dietician and, when clinically appropriate, prescribed orlistat. Clinical notes were reviewed for 50 consecutive patients with PCOS attending the clinic. Their height, weight and BMI on their first two or three attendances were recorded. Mean weight change between visits was calculated and analysed with reference to starting BMI. Time between the first 2 appointments varied from 1 to 24 months, and 3 to 50 months between the first and third appointments.
Results: Mean weight change for the total group of 50 women between their 1st and 2nd appointments was a gain of 0.1 kg (range −8.6 to +13.7 kg). Twenty-five women gained a mean of 2.3 kg, 20 lost a mean of 2.6 kg and 5 remained unchanged. Thirty-seven women were seen 3 times and their mean weight change between visits 1 and 3 was the same as for the total group (a gain of 0.1 kg; range −18.5 to +13.2 kg). Nineteen of these women gained a mean of 4.4 kg and 18 women lost 4.4 kg. This pattern of weight change was the same for those with a BMI of between 19 and 29.9 kg/m2 and for those 30 kg/m2 and over.
Conclusions: The overall weight gain of this group over 23 visits was very little and less than expected. This suggests that giving lifestyle advice to women with PCOS is at least partially effective.