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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jun;96(6):1827-34. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-0039. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Unfavorable hormonal, metabolic, and inflammatory alterations persist after menopause in women with PCOS.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 5000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland.



Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are known to suffer from hyperandrogenism and impaired glucose tolerance, as well as chronic inflammation, exposing them to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, the degree to which these hormonal and metabolic alterations persist after menopause (MP) is not well documented.


Our objective was to explore whether adverse metabolic and hormonal alterations persist after MP in women with PCOS.


We conducted a cross-sectional university hospital-based study.


Twenty-one pre-MP (n = 10) and post-MP (n = 11) women diagnosed with PCOS were compared with 29 healthy controls (pre-MP, n = 11; post-MP, n = 18). Two-hour oral glucose tolerance tests were performed, and ovarian steroid secretion capacity was assessed (human chorionic gonadotropin tests). Areas under the curves (AUC) were calculated.


Both pre-MP and post-MP women with PCOS had increased insulin response in oral glucose tolerance tests (AUC(ins) pre-MP = 6733.7 vs. 3382.9; post-MP = 9732.1 vs. 3265.3) and were more insulin resistant than controls. Androgen secretion capacity was increased before and after MP in PCOS (AUC of androstenedione; pre-MP: 1218.4 vs. 853.2; post-MP: 1000.0 vs. 531.3). High-sensitivity C-reactive protein remained elevated after MP in PCOS (pre-MP: 1.3 vs. 0.7; post-MP: 1.4 vs. 0.9 mg/liter). Adjustment for body mass index did not alter the results except for glucose metabolism.


The results indicate that impaired glucose metabolism, enhanced ovarian androgen secretion, and chronic inflammation observed in pre-MP women with PCOS persist after menopausal transition emphasizing life-long health risks related to this syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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