Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) frequently exhibit central obesity, glucose intolerance, atherogenic dyslipidaemia and hypertension which are characteristic features of the metabolic syndrome (MetS).METHODS
A total of 295 premenopausal Chinese women with PCOS diagnosed by the Rotterdam criteria (mean age: 30.2 ± 6.4 years) and 98 control subjects without PCOS were evaluated for prevalence of MetS and cardiovascular risk factors, including dyslipidaemia and dysglycaemia.RESULTS
Using the 2005 modified Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, MetS (presence of three or more risk factors) was found in 24.9% of PCOS women compared to 3.1% of controls. The prevalence of MetS in PCOS women increased from 16.7% at under 30 years of age to 53.3% at over 40 years. MetS was also more prevalent in overweight and obese (41.3%) than normal-weight PCOS women (0.9%). However, multivariate regression analysis showed that women with PCOS had a 5-fold increase in risk of MetS (odds ratio 4.90; 95% confidence interval: 1.35–17.84) compared with women without PCOS even after controlling for age and BMI, suggesting PCOS alone is an independent risk factor for MetS.CONCLUSIONS
There is high prevalence of MetS in Hong Kong Chinese women with PCOS despite their relatively young age. Recognition of these cardiometabolic risk factors requires a high level of awareness in conjunction with early and regular screening.