Context: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is often associated with obesity and diabetes. Objective: The present study measured body fat distribution and metabolic risk factors in women with features of PCOS. Design: Cross-sectional, multiethnic study of cardiovascular risks. Setting: General community. Study Participants: 145 PCOS and 344 non-PCOS women. Exposure Measures: Body composition by dual x-ray absorptiometry; abdominal fat masses measured by magnetic resonance imaging and hepatic triglyceride by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Outcomes Measures: Body composition, liver fat content, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), revised, and metabolic syndrome components. Results: PCOS women had a higher free androgen index compared with the non-PCOS women. Nonobese PCOS and non-PCOS women had a similar body fat content and distribution, HOMA-IR, and hepatic triglyceride content. Obese PCOS women had a similar total body fat percentage compared with their non-PCOS counterparts (41.4% and 41.4% respectively). Both obese groups had similar intraperitoneal fat (1.4% of total body mass in PCOS vs 1.4% in non-PCOS). However, obese PCOS women had a greater ratio of truncal/lower body fat (1.42 vs 1.27; P < 0.016). They also had greater insulin resistance (HOMA-IR: PCOS, 2.24% vs non-PCOS, 1.91%; P < 0.016), higher liver triglyceride content (6.96% in PCOS vs 4.44% in non-PCOS; P,0.016), and a greater incidence of hypertension (33% vs 24%; P < 0.05). No differences were observed in other metabolic risk factors. Conclusions: Both obese and nonobese women with PCOS features had a greater free androgen index compared with non-PCOS women, but neither had greater intraperitoneal fat or abnormal lipid levels. Obese, but not nonobese, women with PCOS had a greater truncal/lower extremity fat ratio, HOMA-IR, and liver triglyceride content.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism