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Horm Metab Res. 1989 Jul;21(7):391-7.

Anthropometric variables and metabolism in polycystic ovarian disease.

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Department of Medicine I, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


Anthropometric, endocrine and metabolic variables, were examined in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCO), and in normal control women. Obese women with PCO had higher plasma insulin values than non obese women with PCO, but lean body mass, glucose tolerance, plasma triglycerides and blood pressure were not different in spite of almost twice the body fat mass in the obese PCO women. However, in comparisons between non-obese PCO and control women, with equal body fat mass, the PCO women had higher blood pressure, plasma triglycerides and insulin, as well as a tendency to increased lean body mass. Both PCO groups had a high waist/hip ratio and larger abdominal fat cells than controls, indicating a preferential abdominal accumulation of adipose tissue. In comparison with abdominal adipocytes, femoral adipocytes were larger and had higher lipoprotein lipase activity in the control women, while in the PCO women these regional differences were not found. Basal and norepinephrine stimulated lipolysis were higher in the abdominal than femoral adipocytes in all groups. Substitution of the PCO women with ethinyl estradiol plus desogestrel during 6 months resulted in a regression of clinical androgenic symptoms as well as a normalization of plasma concentrations of free testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin. However, neither body composition nor metabolism were normalized. It was concluded that body fat distribution is more closely related to hypertension and metabolic derangements than total fat mass in the PCO syndrome. It is suggested that the relative paucity of femoral adipose tissue is due to a lack of specific effects of progesterone on adipocytes in this region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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