Obesity in PCOS reflects environmental factors to a great extent

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 93, No. 1 162-168
Copyright © 2008 by The Endocrine Society

Impact of Obesity on the Risk for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Bulent O. Yildiz, Eric S. Knochenhauer and Ricardo Azziz
Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, and Metabolism Unit (B.O.Y.), Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Hacettepe, 06100 Ankara, Turkey; Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology (E.S.K.), Staten Island University Hospital, Staten Island, New York 10305; Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Center for Androgen Related Disorders (R.A.), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Departments of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Medicine (R.A.), David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90048

Address all correspondence and requests for reprints to: Ricardo Azziz, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Department of Ob/Gyn, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8635 West Third Street, Suite 160W, Los Angeles, California 90048. E-mail: azzizr@cshs.org.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the risk of PCOS is only minimally increased with obesity, although the degree of obesity of PCOS patients has increased, similar to that observed in the general population. These data indicate that obesity in PCOS reflects environmental factors to a great extent.

Context: Although it is well established that adiposity increases the severity of the clinical features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the data regarding the prevalence of PCOS in obese women and the change in body weight women presented with PCOS over time are scarce.

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether obesity increases the risk of PCOS and whether the degree of obesity of PCOS patients has increased, paralleling the rise in obesity in the population.

Design: We analyzed data from two consecutive populational studies assessing the prevalence of PCOS and a database containing all untreated PCOS patients evaluated at a university clinic between 1987 and 2002.

Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary care center.

Patients or Other Participants: Participants included 675 women who participated in prevalence studies and 746 PCOS patients.

Main Outcome Measures: Populational prevalence of PCOS according to body mass index (BMI) and change in BMI of PCOS patients over time were measured.