A more atherogenic serum lipoprotein profile is present in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a case-control study

Olivier Valkenburg, Regine P. M. Steegers-Theunissen, Huberdina P. M. Smedts, Geesje M. Dallinga-Thie, Bart C. J. M. Fauser, Egbertine H. Westerveld, Joop S. E. Laven

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CONTEXT: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with a higher frequency of cardiovascular risk factors. Apolipoprotein (apo) A-I and apoB are potent markers for cardiovascular risk. Data on apo levels in women with PCOS are scarce and contradictory. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to identify changes in lipid metabolism in women with PCOS, and the relative impact of obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperandrogenism on lipid parameters. DESIGN: This was a case-control study. SETTING: The study was performed at a single referral center. SUBJECTS: PCOS was diagnosed according to the 2003 Rotterdam criteria. Healthy mothers with regular menstrual cycles served as controls. MAIN OUTCOME PARAMETERS: Fasting insulin, triglycerides (TGs), cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, apoA-I, and apoB were determined. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol was calculated using the Friedewald formula. RESULTS: We included 557 women with PCOS and 295 controls. After correction for age and body mass index, PCOS women had higher median levels of insulin (10.1 vs. 6.9 mU/liter), TGs (95 vs. 81 mg/dl), cholesterol (196 vs. 178 mg/dl), and LDL-cholesterol (125 vs. 106 mg/dl) in combination with lower levels of HDL-cholesterol (46 vs. 55 mg/dl) and apoA-I (118 vs. 146 mg/dl) compared with controls (all P values < or = 0.01). apoB levels were similar in cases and controls. Free androgen index, body mass index, SHBG, and estradiol were independent predictors of apoA-I levels in women with PCOS. CONCLUSIONS: PCOS is associated with a more pronounced atherogenic lipid profile. Furthermore, obesity and hyperandrogenism contribute to an adverse lipid profile. Finally, PCOS seems to constitute an additional risk factor for an atherogenic lipid profile
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-476
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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