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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Mar;96(3):E480-4. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-1658. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Endocrine disruptors and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): elevated serum levels of bisphenol A in women with PCOS.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Hospital, West Yorkshire HD3 3EA, United Kingdom.



Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widespread industrial compound used in the synthesis of polycarbonate plastics. In experimental animals, neonatal exposure to BPA results in a polycystic ovary-like syndrome (PCOS) in adulthood. A bidirectional interaction between androgens and BPA levels has been disclosed.


To determine BPA levels in PCOS women as well as the association between BPA and hormonal/metabolic parameters compared to a control group.


Cross-sectional study of 71 PCOS (National Institutes of Health criteria) and 100 normal women, age- and body mass index-matched, in a University hospital setting.


Anthropometric, hormonal, metabolic parameters and BPA blood levels were determined. Patients (PCOS) and controls (C) were further subdivided according to body mass index into lean and overweight subgroups, respectively.


BPA levels were significantly higher in the total PCOS group compared with the controls (1.05±0.56 vs. 0.72±0.37 ng/ml, P < 0.001). PCOS women, lean (PCOS-L) and overweight (PCOS-OW), had higher BPA levels compared to the corresponding control group lean (C-L) and overweight (C-OW): (PCOS-L = 1.13±0.63 vs. C-L = 0.70±0.36, P < 0.001) (PCOS-OW = 0.96 ± 0.46 vs. C-OW = 0.72 ± 0.39, P < 0.05). A significant association of testosterone (r = 0.192, P < 0.05) and androstenedione (r = 0.257, P < 0.05) with BPA was observed. Multiple regression analysis for BPA showed significant correlation with the existence of PCOS (r = 0.497, P < 0.05). BPA was also positively correlated with insulin resistance (Matsuda index) in the PCOS group (r = 0.273, P < 0.05).


Higher BPA levels in PCOS women compared to controls and a statistically significant positive association between androgens and BPA point to a potential role of this endocrine disruptor in PCOS pathophysiology.

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