▸ Dyslipidemia associated with insulin resistance in PCOS is multifactorial. ▸ Obesity magnifies the dyslipidemia. ▸ How much is due to androgen excess, estrogen excess and/or insulin resistance? ▸ Apolipoprotein A1 and ApoCIII/ApoCIII ratios are altered. ▸ Higher non HDL cholesterol and circulating ApoB reflect altered triglyceride metabolism.
Life-long apolipoprotein lipid metabolic dysfunction in women with PCOS exaggerates the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) with aging. The dysfunction has involved insulin resistance (IR), which occurs in most women with PCOS. Women with PCOS have androgen excess, IR, variable amounts of estrogen exposure, and many environmental factors, all of which can influence lipid metabolism. On average, women with PCOS were higher triglyceride [26.39 95% CI (17.24, 35.54)], lower HDL-cholesterol [6.41 95% CI (3.69, 9.14)], and higher non HDL cholesterol levels [18.82 95% CI (15.53, 22.11)] than their non-PCOS counterparts. They have higher ApoCIII/ApoCII ratios and higher ApoCI even if they are not obese. ApoC1 elevation in women with PCOS needs to be further evaluated as a marker of dysfunction and potential CVD risk. ApoB measurements track with non-HDL cholesterol as a surrogate for increased atherogenic circulating small LDL particles. Elevated triglycerides and waist circumference predict CVD risk and women with PCOS often have these phenotypes. Diet and exercise interventions followed by selective lipid lowering medications are encouraged to normalize the dyslipidemia.