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Clin Sci (Lond). 2009 May;116(10):761-70. doi: 10.1042/CS20080218.

A comprehensive assessment of endothelial function in overweight women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome.

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The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health, Monash Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University, Melbourne 3168, Australia.


PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is associated with reproductive abnormalities, IR (insulin resistance) and elevated risk factors for CVD (cardiovascular disease) and Type 2 diabetes, including endothelial dysfunction. The present study aimed to assess a range of circulating markers of endothelial function in overweight women with and without PCOS. Overweight and obese age- and BMI (body mass index)-matched women with (n=80) and without (n=27) PCOS were assessed in a cross-sectional study. End-point measures were HOMA (homoeostasis model assessment)-IR, androgens, lipids, inflammatory markers [hsCRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein)] and endothelial function [FMD (flow-mediated dilation), ADMA (asymmetric dimethylarginine), PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) and vWF (von Willebrand factor)]. Women with PCOS had elevated HOMA-IR (4.1+/-3.4 compared with 1.9+/-1.4), free androgen index (9.3+/-5.6 compared with 4.6+/-3.8), total cholesterol (5.2+/-1.0 compared with 4.7+/-0.9 mmol/l) and triacylglycerols (triglycerides; 1.4+/-0.7 compared with 0.9+/-0.3 mmol/l) (P<0.05 for all), but similar hsCRP compared with women without PCOS. With regard to endothelial function, women with PCOS had elevated ADMA (1.0+/-0.4 compared 0.3+/-0.1 mumol/l, P<0.001) and PAI-1 (5.6+/-1.8 compared with 4.6+/-1.1 units/ml, P=0.006), a trend towards worsened FMD (11.8+/-5.0 compared with 13.5+/-4.0%, P=0.075) and no difference in vWF compared with controls. For all subjects, ADMA (P=0.002) and PAI-1 (P<0.001) were increased with higher tertiles of HOMA-IR. Women with PCOS are hyperandrogenic, dyslipidaemic and have IR, and have risk factors for CVD and diabetes including increased circulating markers of endothelial function (ADMA and PAI-1) and a trend towards worse FMD as a global marker of endothelial function. In PCOS, deterioration in endothelial function is related to IR, hyperandrogenism and other factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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