Introduction: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a frequent metabolic disorder in women of the reproductive age, and is characterized by multi-factorial cardiovascular risk factors. Insulin resistance is proposed as a central factor linking PCOS to increasing risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of our study was to explore a link between insulin resistance and oxidative stress, as a predictor of cardiovascular risk, in young, non-obese PCOS women.
Methods: A cross-sectional controlled study in 29 young PCOS women (age: 23.8±3.5 years; body mass index, BMI: 22.5±4.6 kg/m2) and 13 matched controls (age: 25.3±2.8 years; BMI: 20.6±3.3 kg/m2) was performed. Fasting blood samples were collected for the determination of malondialdehyde (MDA), glucose, insulin, testosterone, and sex hormone binding globulin. Insulin resistance was calculated using homeostasis assessment model (HOMA-IR).
Results: MDA concentrations showed no difference between PCOS and controls (4.0±1.6 vs 4.3±2.3 uM, P=0.685). Indices of insulin resistance were significantly higher in PCOS group in comparison to controls (insulin: 16.6±7.5 vs 10.7±2.6 mU/l, P=0.009; HOMA-IR: 3.2±1.3 vs 2.2±0.6, P=0.015). MDA had significant positive correlation with insulin (P=0.046) and HOMA-IR (P=0.016) in PCOS group only.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that insulin resistance could be responsible for increased level of oxidative stress in young, non-obese PCOS women. Presence of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and oxidative damage are likely to accelerate development of cardiovascular disease in PCOS women.
30 Apr - 04 May 2011
European Society of Endocrinology