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J Endocrinol Invest. 2013 Dec;36(11):1004-10. doi: 10.3275/9023. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Sex hormone binding globulin, but not testosterone, is associated with the metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

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  • 1The Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide, North Adelaide, Australia.



Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with hyperandrogenism and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Decreased SHBG and elevated testosterone are associated with metabolic syndrome and glucose intolerance in women.


The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between SHBG and testosterone and metabolic syndrome and glucose intolerance in PCOS.


Cross-sectional study in overweight and obese premenopausal non-diabetic women with PCOS (no.=178: no.=55 metabolic syndrome, no.=16 glucose intolerance). Data were analyzed by multiple regression with metabolic syndrome, oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) glucose or SHBG as dependent variables and reproductive hormones, insulin resistance, glucose tolerance, lipids or C-reactive protein as independent variables.


Metabolic syndrome was independently associated with body mass index [odds ratio (OR) 1.084 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.034-1.170, p=0.015] and SHBG (OR 0.961 95% CI 0.932-0.995, p=0.018). Glucose tolerance was independently associated with OGTT insulin (β=0.418, p<0.001), age (β=0.154, p=0.033) and PRL (β=-0.210, p=0.002). SHBG was independently associated with OGTT insulin (β=-0.216, p=0.014) and PCOS diagnostic criteria (β=0.197, p=0.010).


SHBG, but not testosterone, is independently associated with metabolic syndrome in overweight women with PCOS and is associated with insulin resistance and PCOS diagnostic criteria.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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