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Acta Diabetol. 2013 Jun;50(3):451-7. doi: 10.1007/s00592-012-0383-4. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is not associated with genetic variants that mark risk of type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder of irregular menses, hyperandrogenism and/or polycystic ovary morphology. A large proportion of women with PCOS also exhibit insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction, impaired glucose tolerance and/or type 2 diabetes (T2D). We therefore hypothesized that genetic variants that predispose to risk of T2D also result in risk of PCOS. Variants robustly associated with T2D in candidate gene or genome-wide association studies (GWAS; n = 56 SNPs from 33 loci) were genotyped in women of European ancestry with PCOS (n = 525) and controls (n = 472), aged 18-45 years. Metabolic, reproductive and anthropomorphic data were examined as a function of the T2D variants. All genetic association analyses were adjusted for age, BMI and ancestry and were reported after correction for multiple testing. There was a nominal association between variants in KCNJ11 and risk of PCOS. However, a risk score of 33 independent T2D-associated variants from GWAS was not significantly associated with PCOS. T2D variants were associated with PCOS phenotype parameters including those in THADA and WFS1 with testosterone levels, ENPP/PC1 with triglyceride levels, FTO with glucose levels and KCNJ11 with FSH levels. Diabetes risk variants are not important risk variants for PCOS.

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