Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex metabolic disorder and hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance constitute the key players of syndrome pathogenesis. Another emerging important factor of PCOS is low-grade chronic inflammation. The aim of the present study was to investigate white blood cells count (WBC) in PCOS and assess its role as a possible marker of low-grade inflammation.
Methods: Anthropometrical, metabolic and hormonal data were analyzed from 236 women with PCOS (Rotterdam criteria)
Results: In the total population studied, white blood count was significantly correlated with BMI (P<0.001), testosterone, free testosterone, SHBG (P<0.001), HOMA score (P=0.001), E2, FG score, HDL (P<0.001), TGL (P<0.001) and insulin (P<0.001). Partial correlation analysis, controlling for BMI and waist:hip ratio, revealed statistically significant correlation of WBC with SHBG, TGL and HDL. In addition, multiple linear regression analysis showed that BMI and SHBG were the main predictors of white cell count in PCOS. Finally, grouping the whole sample based on the number of the white cells, we observed that the biggest rate of women with >6.000/μl WCC has BMI>27 kg/m2, independently of the presence of normal or abnormal hormonal profile.
Conclusions: Chronic low-grade inflammation and increased white cell count do occur in PCOS. The most important factors that contribute to this inflammatory state are insulin resistance and obesity, whereas hyperandrogenism does not seem to affect it.
27 Apr - 01 May 2013
European Society of Endocrinology