Influences of weight, body fat patterning and nutrition on the management of PCOS.
Hum Reprod. 1997 Oct;12 Suppl 1:72-81
Lefebvre P, Bringer J, Renard E, Boulet F, Clouet S, Jaffiol C.
Service d’Endocrinologie, Hopital Lapeyronie, Montpellier, France.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous clinical entity that is defined as the association of hyperandrogenism with chronic anovulation in women without specific underlying diseases of the adrenal or pituitary glands. PCOS is also associated with a metabolic disturbance (insulin resistance). The nature of the complex interrelation of obesity, insulin resistance and endocrine abnormalities in PCOS remains unresolved. However, several studies link obesity, body fat distribution and nutritional habitus with the hormonal and metabolic profiles of PCOS. Moreover, intervention studies have suggested that reducing weight and/or hyperinsulinaemia either by diet alone or by a combination of diet and drugs improves hirsutism, fertility and the hormonal and metabolic profiles of PCOS. In fact, the evaluation of nutritional factors in PCOS is helpful for the screening of metabolic abnormalities and the management of women with PCOS. A point of particular interest in the management of PCOS is that the choice of contraception remains difficult in these high cardiovascular risk women. The impact of pills with ethinyl oestradiol on weight, body fat distribution and carbohydrate metabolism in women with PCOS has not been thoroughly evaluated. The lack of prospective studies to evaluate long-term metabolic and cardiovascular tolerance necessitates care and the assessment of other hormonal possibilities.