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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;28(10):819-22. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2012.671389. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Age-related differences in the reproductive and metabolic implications of polycystic ovarian syndrome: findings in an obese, United States population.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


The objective of this study was to explore age-related differences in the reproductive and metabolic manifestations of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Using a prospective cross-sectional design, we compared metabolic and reproductive findings in women attending a multidisciplinary clinic for PCOS, stratified across the following age groups: 18-25 (n = 71), 26-35 (n = 129), and 36-45 (n = 29). The study included primarily overweight and obese women, with a mean BMI of 31.1 in the entire study group. Older women had a decreased prevalence of biochemical hyperandrogenemia (p-trend: 0.0005). Of women meeting diagnostic criteria for PCOS, older women (n = 15) had larger median waist circumference and higher median diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and fasting glucose compared to younger women (p-trend: 0.03, 0.01, 0.01, 0.01 and 0.06, respectively). The odds of metabolic syndrome for women ages 36-45 are increased four-fold relative to the younger groups (OR: 4.01; 95% CI: 1.04-15.4; p = 0.04). We conclude that there are significant age-related differences in both the clinical presentation and metabolic manifestations of PCOS.

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