Risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in women with hyperandrogenemia: A comparison between pcos phenotypes and beyond

Valentin Borzan, Elisabeth Lerchbaum, Cornelia Missbrenner, Annemieke C. Heijboer, Michaela Goschnik, Christian Trummer, Verena Theiler-Schwetz, Christoph Haudum, Roswitha Gumpold, Natascha Schweighofer, Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in premeno-pausal women, with a wide spectrum of possible phenotypes, symptoms and sequelae according to the current clinical definition. However, there are women who do not fulfill at least two out of the three commonly used “Rotterdam criteria” and their risk of developing type 2 diabetes or obesity later in life is not defined. Therefore, we addressed this important gap by conducting a retrospective analysis based on 750 women with and without PCOS. We compared four different PCOS pheno-types according to the Rotterdam criteria with women who exhibit only one Rotterdam criterion and with healthy controls. Hormone and metabolic differences were assessed by analysis of vari-ance (ANOVA) as well as logistic regression analysis. We found that hyperandrogenic women have per se a higher risk of developing insulin resistance compared to phenotypes without hyperandro-genism and healthy controls. In addition, hyperandrogenemia is associated with developing insulin resistance also in women with no other Rotterdam criterion. Our study encourages further diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for PCOS phenotypes in order to account for varying risks of developing metabolic diseases. Finally, women with hyperandrogenism as the only symptom should also be screened for insulin resistance to avoid later metabolic risks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number829
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Free testosterone
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • Insulin resistance
  • PCOS
  • Rotterdam criteria

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