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Fertil Steril. 2008 Apr;89(4):899-906. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Obesity, weight loss, and the polycystic ovary syndrome: effect of treatment with diet and orlistat for 24 weeks on insulin resistance and androgen levels.

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  • 12nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Human Reproduction, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.



To investigate the combined effect of diet and orlistat, for 24 weeks, on anthropometric features, hormonal parameters, and indices of insulin resistance in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and in obese women without the syndrome.


Prospective clinical study.


Department of obstetrics and gynecology in a major university in Greece.


Eighteen selected women with PCOS were matched for age and body mass index with 14 obese control women.


Subjects were prescribed an energy-restricted diet, and orlistat (120 mg, 3 times per d) was administered to all subjects for 24 weeks.


At baseline, week 12, and week 24, after an overnight fast, blood samples were collected, and serum levels of FSH, LH, PRL, T, Delta(4)A, DHEAS, 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, glucose, and insulin were measured.


Testosterone levels were significantly decreased with treatment in women with PCOS; this decrease was attributed to the first trimester, whereas T levels did not change during the second 12-week period. In women with PCOS, insulin levels and HOMA-IR values were decreased during the first 12 weeks, whereas no significant change was observed during the second trimester.


Orlistat administration, combined with diet, for 24 weeks, resulted in significant weight loss and improvement of insulin resistance in obese women, with or without PCOS. Moreover, T levels were significantly decreased in women with PCOS. There appears to be a trend during the first 12-week period for greater improvement of metabolic and hormonal parameters in women with PCOS.

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