Clinical and Biochemical Signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Young Women Born Preterm

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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  • 1 M Paalanne, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescence, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
  • 2 M Vääräsmäki, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
  • 3 S Mustaniemi, PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
  • 4 M Tikanmäki, Population Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu and Helsinki, Finland
  • 5 K Wehkalampi, Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  • 6 H Matinolli, Population Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu and Helsinki, Finland
  • 7 J Eriksson, -, Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
  • 8 M Jarvelin, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 9 L Morin-Papunen, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu , Finland
  • 10 E Kajantie, Population Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu and Helsinki, Finland

Correspondence: Marika Paalanne, Email: marika.paalanne@ppshp.fi

Objective:

It has been suggested that adverse early life exposures increase the risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in later life. We hypothesized that women born preterm would have more biochemical and clinical signs of PCOS than women born at term.

Design:

The ESTER Preterm Birth Study participants were born in Northern Finland, and identified from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort and the Finnish Medical Birth Register. Altogether, 74 women born very or moderately preterm (<34 gestational weeks, VMPT), 127 born late preterm (at 34–36 weeks, LPT), and 184 born full term (≥37 weeks, controls) were included in the analysis (mean age 23.2y).

Methods:

We measured serum total testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and calculated free androgen index (FAI). PCOS according to the clinical and biochemical signs was defined either as hirsutism and oligoamenorrhea (via questionnaire), or as oligoamenorrhea and elevated testosterone levels (>2.4 nmol/l).

Results:

Women born VMPT/LPT exhibited 33.0% (8.7, 62.8)/16.4% (-2.0, 38.1) higher testosterone, 28.5% (5.3, 45.9)/24.1% (5.6, 38.9) lower SHBG levels, and 64.6% (19.4, 127.1)/ 42.5% (11.1, 82.9) higher FAI than controls after adjusting for age and recruitment cohort, maternal BMI, smoking, and pregnancy disorders, parental education, history of hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infarction or stroke, and subject’s birth weight SD. Odds ratios for having PCOS were 1.67 (0.44, 6.23)/3.11 (1.26, 7.70).

Conclusions:

Women born preterm have a more hyperandrogenic hormonal profile, and those born LPT are approximately three times more likely at risk to have PCOS compared to women born at term.

 

     European Society of Endocrinology