Body mass index rather than the phenotype impacts precocious ultrasound cardiovascular risk markers in polycystic ovary syndrome

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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  • 1 Unit of Endocrinology and Prevention and Care of Diabetes, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences
  • 2 Unit of Cardiology, Department of Specialistic, Diagnostic and Experimental Medicine, S. Orsola Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 3 Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 4 Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Correspondence should be addressed to A Gambineri; Email: alessandra.gambiner3@unibo.it
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Objective

Research into cardiovascular disease (CV) prevention has demonstrated a variety of ultrasound (US) markers predicting risk in the general population but which have been scarcely used for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Obesity is a major factor contributing to CV disease in the general population, and it is highly prevalent in PCOS. However, it is still unclear how much risk is attributable to hyperandrogenism. This study evaluates the most promising US CV risk markers in PCOS and compares them between different PCOS phenotypes and BMI values.

Design

Women fulfilling the Rotterdam criteria for PCOS were recruited from our outpatient clinic for this cross-sectional study.

Methods

Participants (n = 102) aged 38.9 ± 7.4 years were stratified into the four PCOS phenotypes and the three BMI classes (normal-weight, overweight, obese). They were assessed for clinical and biochemical parameters together with the following US markers: coronary intima-media thickness (cIMT), flow-mediated vascular dilation (FMD), nitroglycerine-induced dilation (NTG), and epicardial fat thickness (EFT).

Results

There was no statistical difference among the four phenotypes in terms of cIMT, FMD, NTG or EFT, however all the US parameters except NTG showed significant differences among the three BMI classes. Adjusting for confounding factors in multiple regression analyses, EFT retained the greatest direct correlation with BMI and cIMT remained directly correlated but to a lesser degree.

Conclusions

This study showed that obesity rather than the hyperandrogenic phenotype negatively impacts precocious US CV risk markers in PCOS. In addition, EFT showed the strongest association with BMI, highlighting its potential for estimating CV risk in PCOS.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Table. Relationship between BMI and ultrasound cardiovascular risk markers, adjusted for confounders

 

     European Society of Endocrinology

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