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J Adolesc Health. 2008 Aug;43(2):115-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.02.003. Epub 2008 May 19.

Body shape and size and insulin resistance as early clinical predictors of hyperandrogenic anovulation in ethnic minority adolescent girls.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10467, USA.



To determine whether key associated features of hyperandrogenic anovulation (HA) in predominately Caribbean Hispanic (CH) adolescent girls can be combined to improve the early diagnosis of HA.


Unselected observational sample of females aged 12 to 21 years (mean 17.5 +/- 2.4 years), (64% CH, 28% African American). One hundred twenty subjects provided a menstrual history, had a physical examination, and a follicular phase fasting blood drawn for LH, FSH, testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), 17-OH progesterone (17-OHP), androstenedione (Delta(4)A), glucose, and insulin. We prospectively categorized subjects into four groups: G I (n = 42) had normal menses and normal physical exam; G II (n = 41) had normal menses and abnormal physical exam, that is, signs indicating possible hyperandrogenism and/or insulin resistance, including at least one of obesity, hirsutism, acne, or acanthosis nigricans; G III (n = 15) had abnormal menses and normal physical exam, and G IV (n = 22) had HA with BOTH abnormal menses and abnormal physical exam, that is, girls most likely to develop polycystic ovary syndrome. Hormonal levels and additional clinical and physical characteristics of interest were compared among the four groups.


Group IV subjects had significantly higher waist circumference measurements, independent of overweight status, than all other groups. As hypothesized, Group IV subjects had significantly higher androgen levels and significantly lower SHBG levels than all other groups. FAI, SHBG, and waist circumference had the highest diagnostic accuracy for predicting Group IV status (i.e., HA phenotype).


Markers of insulin resistance and hyperandrogenemia, including waist circumference, FAI, and SHBG, best associate with irregular menstrual cycles and the HA phenotype in ethnic minority adolescent girls.

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