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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1983 Feb 15;145(4):496-503.

Psychological stress and increases in urinary norepinephrine metabolites, platelet serotonin, and adrenal androgens in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Abstract

Twenty-three women with polycystic ovary syndrome, 10 women with hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction, and 50 control subjects were studied in an attempt to investigate the prevalence of psychological stress and its possible relationship to various hormonal parameters. Norepinephrine (NE) excretion, as reflected by urinary 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), and urinary 3-methoxy-4-hydroxymandelic acid (VMA), platelet serotonin, plasma adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), urinary free cortisol, serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), androstenedione (Adione), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), its sulfate (DHEA-S), delta 5-androstenediol (delta 5-Adiol), testosterone (T), and unbound estradiol (E2) were measured. In addition, psychological stress was assessed by means of questionnaires modified from the Schedule of Recent Experiences, in which a Life Events Inventory was scored between 1 and 100. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome had significantly elevated levels of serum LH, LH:FSH ratios, unbound E2, Adione, DHEA, delta 5-Adiol, T, and DHEA-S (p less than 0.01). The number of Major Life Events (events scored on the questionnaire above 60) was significantly higher in women with polycystic ovary syndrome than in control women and women with hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction (p less than 0.05). Urinary MHPG and platelet serotonin levels were also significantly higher in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (p less than 0.05), whereas VMA was normal. Levels of plasma ACTH and urinary free cortisol were similar in all groups. There was a significant positive correlation between MHPG and DHEA-S, MHPG and LH, and LH and T levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and those with hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction (p less than 0.01). VMA also correlated with DHEA-S (p less than 0.05). In conclusion, psychological stress may be more prevalent in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and may be associated with elevated levels of MHPG and platelet serotonin. Because we have found that MHPG, but not VMA, correlated with LH, and because both MHPG and VMA correlated with DHEA-S, we hypothesize here that psychological stress and neurotransmitter levels may be linked to some of the hormonal derangements, including inappropriate gonadotropin secretion and elevated adrenal androgen levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

PMID:
6824043
DOI:
10.1016/0002-9378(83)90324-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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