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J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Feb;7(2):317-9. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/4930.2756. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Acanthosis Nigricansin PCOS Patients and Its Relation with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Body Mass at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Southern India.

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  • 1Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Manipal University , Manipal, India .



Acanthosis nigricansis was viewed recently as a possible marker of an increased risk for diabetes. Acanthosis Nigricans (AN) can help in identifying the patients with an increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) among Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) cases. Hence, this study was carried to know the prevalence of AN in PCOS and its correlation with diabetes mellitus and the body mass.


A prospective, longitudinal study in the patients with PCOS, who attended the Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College [KMC] Hospital, Attavar, Mangalore, Karnatka, India between December 2008 to April 2010, was carried out. A total of 119 patients with PCOS were included in the study. A complete history, along with the demographic data of the patients who were aged between 15-35 years, were considered for the analysis.


AN was observed in 56% of the PCOS patients. The Body Mass Index (BMI) and the waist circumference were significantly higher in the PCOS patients with AN, as compared to those without AN. Among the 119 PCOS patients,77% were found to have BMI values which were above the normal. Among the obese PCOS patients, 58% had BMI values of more than 30kg/m(2) as compared to 19% of the patients who did not have AN. Type 2 DM was observed in 77% of the PCOS patients with AN, while none of the PCOS patients were found to be diabetic among those without AN. A family history of DM in the first degree relatives was present in all the patients with AN. The results were analyzed by the Mann Whitney U test for the continuous data and by the Chi square test for the categorical data.


The PCOS patients who had a family history of diabetes and obesity with a body mass index of more than 30 kg/m(2) and a waist circumference of ≥ 90 cm were more likely to develop AN, which is a marker of hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance. Identifying such PCOS patients will stimulate the discussions of the lifestyle modifications in the primary care setting.


Acanthosis nigricans; Diabetes mellitus; Polycystic ovary syndrome

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