Cardiopulmonary Impairment in Young Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Insulin resistance is a feature of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and it is related to mitochondrial function, particularly with maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). At the moment, no evaluation of cardiopulmonary functional capacity in young patients with PCOS has been performed.


Our objective was to assess cardiopulmonary functional capacity in young PCOS overweight patients.

Design and Setting:

We conducted a prospective baseline-controlled clinical study at University “Federico II” of Naples, School of Medicine (Naples, Italy).


Forty-five PCOS patients were matched with 45 healthy women for age (mean ± SD, 21.3 ± 2.0 vs. 21.6 ± 1.9 yr, respectively) and body mass index (29.4 ± 3.6 vs. 29.0 ± 3.4 kg/m2, respectively).

Mean Outcome Measures:

We assessed hormonal and metabolic pattern and functional capacity by cardiopulmonary exercise testing to evaluate maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (VO2AT), and the maximal workload at peak exercise.


VO2max (17.0 ± 3.7 vs. 26.8 ± 3.5 ml/kg·min), oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (13.9 ± 3.0 vs. 21.2 ± 3.8 ml/kg·min), and maximal workload at peak exercise (101.3 ± 25.2 vs. 135 ± 22.6 W) were significantly (P < 0.001) reduced in PCOS subjects compared with healthy women. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that only homeostasis model assessment appears to have a strong negative linear relation with VO2max in PCOS. No relation was found in controls.


Our data demonstrate a reduced cardiopulmonary functional capacity in young PCOS patients.

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