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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018 Oct;34(10):875-879. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2018.1462319. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Subclinical hypothyroidism is not a risk factor for polycystic ovary syndrome in obese women of reproductive age.

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a Department of Endocrinology , Drum Tower Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University Medical School , Nanjing , China.
b Health Manager Center , Drum Tower Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University Medical School , Nanjing , China.


Obese women are at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) has been associated with weight gain, insulin resistance and impaired fertility, which are also factors involved in PCOS. However, there is limited information regarding the influence of SCH on the presence of PCOS. In order to determine whether SCH increases the prevalence of PCOS, we performed a cross-sectional study in a cohort of reproductive-aged obese women. All subjects underwent anthropometric evaluation, laboratory tests and ultrasound examination. Diagnosis of PCOS was based on the Rotterdam criteria. A total of 534 obese women were included and 108 (20.2%) of them were diagnosed with SCH. Patients with SCH showed similar insulin resistance, comparable androgen levels, and higher triglycerides levels (1.7 vs. 1.5 mmol/L, p = .002) compared to those with normal thyroid status. The frequency of PCOS did not differ between the two groups (56.1% for normal thyroid function vs. 60.2% for subclinical hypothyroidism, p = .514). In logistic regression analysis, SCH was not an independent risk factor for PCOS after adjusting for confounding factors (OR = 0.984, 95% CI 0.581-1.667). For the first time, our results suggest that SCH does not increase the risk of PCOS in obese women of reproductive age.


Obese women; polycystic ovary syndrome; risk factor; subclinical hypothyroidism

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