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Metabolism. 2011 Oct;60(10):1475-81. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 May 6.

Vitamin D deficiency is common and associated with metabolic risk factors in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Both vitamin D deficiency and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are associated with aspects of metabolic syndrome, but it is unclear whether vitamin D deficiency contributes to the metabolic disturbances commonly found in women with PCOS. This study sought to investigate (1) the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in PCOS women in Scotland and (2) the relationship between vitamin D status and metabolic risk factors. This was an observational study on 52 women (25 in PCOS group and 27 in control group). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations less than 25 nmol/L were classified as severe vitamin D deficiency and were found in 44.0% and 11.2% of subjects in the PCOS and control groups, respectively (P = .047). Among the PCOS subjects, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were negatively correlated with body mass index (P = .033), C-reactive protein (P = .027), and free androgen index (P = .025) and positively correlated with quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (P = .035), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (P = .033), and sex hormone binding globulin (P = .038). Associations of vitamin D deficiency with quantitative insulin sensitivity check index and HDL-C were independent of body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio. Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in PCOS women in Scotland, and a larger proportion of PCOS patients than control women were found to be vitamin D deficient. We also demonstrate correlations of vitamin D status with insulin sensitivity, HDL-C, and C-reactive protein in PCOS patients, which support the increasing evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple metabolic risk factors in PCOS women.

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