Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. PCOS has been associated with distinct metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and with autoimmune conditions, predominantly autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). AITD has been reported in 18–40% of PCOS women, depending on PCOS diagnostic criteria and ethnicity. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize the available evidence regarding the likelihood of women with PCOS also having AITD in comparison to a reference group of non-PCOS women. We systematically searched EMBASE and MEDLINE for non-interventional case control, cross-sectional or cohort studies published until August 2017. The Ottawa–Newcastle Scale was used to assess the methodological quality of studies. Statistical meta-analysis was performed with R. Thirteen studies were selected for the present analysis, including 1210 women diagnosed with PCOS and 987 healthy controls. AITD was observed in 26.03 and 9.72% of PCOS and control groups respectively. A significant association was detected between PCOS and chance of AITD (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.32–4.63). Notably, after geographical stratification, the higher risk of AITD in PCOS women persisted for Asians (OR = 4.56, 95% CI 2.47–8.43), Europeans (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.07–5.15) and South Americans (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.05–3.29). AIDT is a frequent condition in PCOS patients and might affect thyroid function. Thus, screening for thyroid function and thyroid-specific autoantibodies should be considered in patients with PCOS even in the absence of overt symptoms. This systematic review and meta-analysis is registered in PROSPERO under number CRD42017079676.
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Mírian Romitti, Vitor C Fabris, Patricia K Ziegelmann, Ana Luiza Maia, and Poli Mara Spritzer
Raymond J Rodgers, Jodie C Avery, Vivienne M Moore, Michael J Davies, Ricardo Azziz, Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Lisa J Moran, Sarah A Robertson, Nigel K Stepto, Robert J Norman, and Helena J Teede
Many complex diseases exhibit co-morbidities often requiring management by more than one health specialist. We examined cross-speciality issues that ultimately affect the health and wellbeing of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS was originally described as a reproductive condition but is now recognised to also be a metabolic and psychological condition affecting 8–13% of women of reproductive age. With a four-fold increased risk of type 2 diabetes (DM2), the Population Attributable Risk of DM2 that could be avoided if PCOS were eliminated is a substantial 19–28% of women of reproductive age. To determine the extent to which PCOS is an important consideration in diabetes development, we examined publications, funding, guidelines and predictors of risk of developing DM2.
We found that the topic of PCOS appeared in specialist diabetes journals at only 10% the rate seen in endocrinology journals – about 1 in 500 articles. We found research funding to be substantially less than for diabetes and found that diabetes guidelines and predictive tools for DM2 risk mostly ignore PCOS. This is surprising since insulin resistance in women with PCOS has a different aetiology and additionally women with PCOS are at increased risk of becoming overweight or obese – high risk factors for DM2.
We consider the causes of these concerning anomalies and discuss current activities to address the co-morbidities of PCOS, including the recent development of international guidelines, an international PCOS awareness program and potentially changing the name of PCOS to better reflect its metabolic consequences.
Xiying Zeng, Yinxiang Huang, Mulin Zhang, Yun Chen, Jiawen Ye, Yan Han, Danyan Ma, Xin Zheng, Xiaohong Yan, and Changqin Liu
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is recognized as the most important biomarker for ovarian reserve. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to explore the potential association of AMH with central obesity or general obesity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
In this cross-sectional study, 179 patients with PCOS were enrolled and underwent anthropometric measurements (BMI and waist circumference (WC)) and serum AMH level detection. Pearson’s correlation and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the associations of AMH with central obesity and general obesity.
Subjects with increasing BMI showed significantly lower values of AMH (median (interquartile range (IQR)) 8.95 (6.03–13.60) ng/mL in normal weight group, 6.57 (4.18–8.77) ng/mL in overweight group, and 6.03 (4.34–9.44) ng/mL in obesity group, P = 0.001), but higher levels of systolic blood pressure, fasting insulin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-c, obesity indices (WC, hip circumferences, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and Chinese visceral adiposity index (CVAI)). Compared with the group of PCOS women without central obesity, the group with central obesity had significantly lower value of AMH (median (IQR) 8.56 (5.29–12.96) ng/mL vs 6.22 (4.33–8.82) ng/mL; P = 0.003). Pearson’s correlation analysis showed that AMH was significantly and negatively correlated with BMI (r = −0.280; P < 0.001), WC (r = −0.263; P < 0.001), WHtR (r = −0.273; P < 0.001), and CVAI (r = −0.211; P = 0.006). Multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustment for potential confounding factors showed that AMH was independently and negatively associated with central obesity but was not significantly associated with general obesity.
AMH was independently and negatively associated with central obesity. Closely monitoring the WC and AMH should be addressed in terms of assessing ovarian reserve in women with PCOS.
Ling Zhou, Zhexin Ni, Wen Cheng, Jin Yu, Shuai Sun, Dongxia Zhai, Chaoqin Yu, and Zailong Cai
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic endocrine and metabolic disease. Gut microbiota is closely related to many chronic diseases. In this study, we conducted a cross-sectional study and recruited 30 obese (OG) and 30 non-obese (NG) women with PCOS, 30 healthy women (NC) and 11 healthy but obese women (OC) as controls to investigate the characteristic gut microbiota and its metabolic functions in obese and non-obese patients with PCOS. The blood and non-menstrual faecal samples of all the participants were collected and analysed. As a result, the Hirsutism score, LH/FSH and serum T level in NG and OG both increased significantly compared with their controls (P < 0.05). High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the abundance and diversity of the gut microbiota changed in patients with PCOS. The linear discriminant analysis (LDA) indicated that Lactococcus was the characteristic gut microbiota in NG, while Coprococcus_2 in OG. Correlation heatmap analysis revealed that the sex hormones and insulin levels in human serum were closely related to the changes in the gut microbiota of NG and OG. Functional prediction analysis demonstrated that the citrate cycle pathway enriched both in NG and OG, and other 12 gut bacterial metabolic pathways enriched in NG. This study highlighted significant differences in the gut microbiota and predictive functions of obese and non-obese women with PCOS, thereby providing insights into the role and function of the gut microbiota that may contribute to the occurrence and development of PCOS in obese and non-obese women.
Lina S Silva-Bermudez, Freddy J K Toloza, Maria C Perez-Matos, Russell J de Souza, Laura Banfield, Andrea Vargas-Villanueva, and Carlos O Mendivil
To estimate the effect of oral contraceptives (OC) containing different progestins on parameters of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism through a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Patients and methods
Premenopausal women aged 18 or older, who received oral contraceptives containing chlormadinone, cyproterone, drospirenone, levonorgestrel, desogestrel, dienogest, gestodene or norgestimate, for at least 3 months. Outcome variables were changes in plasma lipids, BMI, insulin resistance and plasma glucose. We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for randomized trials and estimated the pooled within-group change in each outcome variable using a random-effects model. We performed subgroup analyses by study duration (<12 months vs ≥12 months) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) status.
Eighty-two clinical trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria. All progestins (except dienogest) increased plasma TG, ranging from 12.1 mg/dL for levonorgestrel (P < 0.001) to 35.1 mg/dL for chlormadinone (P < 0.001). Most progestins also increased HDLc, with the largest effect observed for chlormadinone (+9.6 mg/dL, P < 0.001) and drospirenone (+7.4 mg/dL, P < 0.001). Meanwhile, levonorgestrel decreased HDLc by 4.4 mg/dL (P < 0.001). Levonorgestrel (+6.8 mg/dL, P < 0.001) and norgestimate (+11.5 mg/dL, P = 0.003) increased LDLc, while dienogest decreased it (–7.7 mg/dL, P = 0.04). Cyproterone slightly reduced plasma glucose. None of the progestins affected BMI or HOMA-IR. Similar results were observed in subgroups defined by PCOS or study duration.
Most progestins increase both TG and HDLc, their effect on LDLc varies widely. OC have minor or no effects on BMI, HOMA-IR and glycemia. The antiandrogen progestins dienogest and cyproterone displayed the most favorable metabolic profile, while levonorgestrel displayed the least favorable.
Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Bruna Barcelo Barbosa, José Maria Soares Junior, and Edmund Chada Baracat
To verify whether aging can modify the clinical and biochemical characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Material and methods
This observational cross-sectional study was conducted at the reproductive endocrinology clinics of Julio Muller University Hospital and Tropical Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Cuiabá, MT, Brazil, between 2003 and 2017. Both, 796 PCOS and 444 non-PCOS normal cycling women underwent the same examination. PCOS was diagnosed using the Rotterdam criteria as recommended for adolescent and adult subjects. Anthropometric, metabolic, and endocrinological modifications with aging were initially examined in the two groups: control and PCOS. Further analyses were performed after a 5-year age stratification of data throughout the reproductive period. All participants signed a consent form approved by the local ethical committee.
Biomarkers of adiposity were more remarkable in African descendant PCOS women. Body weight, waist/hip ratio, fat mass, and BMI were higher in PCOS women and tended to increase at all 5 age-strata, between ≤19 and 35 years of age. Serum androgen levels decreased with aging, markedly in PCOS subjects (P < 0.01 for all age-strata comparisons), but remained elevated when compared with the levels found in controls. Carbohydrate markers, triglycerides, and total cholesterol tended to increase over time in PCOS (P < 0.01 for all age-strata comparisons). Total cholesterol also tended to increase with age in non-PCOS women (P = 0.041).
The present study has shown that the advancing age influences many features of PCOS women. Biochemical hyperandrogenism, the core criterion recommended in the current systems to define the syndrome, showed statistically significant tendencies to decrease with aging progression but did not normalize. The use of age-adjusted features for the diagnosis of PCOS are recommended.
Mette H Viuff and Claus H Gravholt
In this commentary, we discuss the state of affairs concerning the clinical care of females with Turner syndrome (TS) in Germany. TS is a rare disease and new international guidelines describe an appropriate setup for optimal clinical care. Several countries have implemented a program with centralized adult Turner syndrome clinics, which are now found in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, parts of England and possibly other countries, but hitherto not in Germany. Such an approach should ensure the availability of high quality multi-disciplinary care for all women with TS to be treated and to detect all the conditions that have been associated with TS, which typically appear at odd times during the lifetime of a female with TS. Care should be offered at no added cost for the patient, and treatment with relevant drugs should be available at reasonable cost for the individual patient. Currently, it is quite problematic that many female sex hormone preparations are not available at low cost in a number of countries. Additional problems include supply chain issue which lead to patients not being able to buy their usual drug for a certain period of time. We think it is timely that countries improve the care for individuals with rare conditions, such as TS.
Rossella Cannarella, Andrea Crafa, Sandro La Vignera, Rosita A Condorelli, and Aldo E Calogero
Animal studies suggest that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) may influence the function of the hypothalamus–pituitary–testicular axis, especially in childhood, but the evidence in humans is scanty. Laron syndrome, a human model of IGF1 deficiency, may help to solve this issue.
This systematic review aims to analyze puberty onset and progression, testicular volume, gonadotropin, and total testosterone serum levels, sperm parameters and fertility, and penile length in patients with Laron syndrome.
Specific keywords were used. All data on male patients with Laron syndrome were included.
Seventeen articles matched the inclusion criteria and were entered in the analysis, for a total of 125 male patients. Puberty was absent in 8.9% and delayed in 35.6% of untreated patients of pubertal age. After onset, the duration of the pubertal process was prolonged in 76.9% of untreated patients. The growth spurt was absent in 52.6% and delayed in 31.6% of untreated patients. The testicular volume was small in the two patients who did not receive any treatment. Treatment with IGF1 increased gonadotropin and testosterone serum levels in five out of five patients of pubertal age. No effect was found in four out of four patients younger than 5 years. No study reported data on sperm parameters and fertility. Micropenis occurred in 67.2% of patients.
Conclusion and future perspectives
Delayed puberty is common in patients with Laron syndrome. The growth hormone–IGF1 axis may influence the time of puberty onset. Serum levels of IGF1 should be investigated in children with delayed puberty, scarce progression of testicular growth, and/or micropenis. IGF1 levels might be measured in children with delayed puberty, poor testicular growth, and/or micropenis.
Caroline Culen, Diana-Alexandra Ertl, Katharina Schubert, Lisa Bartha-Doering, and Gabriele Haeusler
Turner syndrome (TS), although considered a rare disease, is the most common sex chromosome abnormality in women, with an incident of 1 in 2500 female births. TS is characterized by distinctive physical features such as short stature, ovarian dysgenesis, an increased risk for heart and renal defects as well as a specific cognitive and psychosocial phenotype. Given the complexity of the condition, patients face manifold difficulties which increase over the lifespan. Furthermore, failures during the transitional phase to adult care result in moderate health outcomes and decreased quality of life. Guidelines on the optimal screening procedures and medical treatment are easy to find. However, recommendations for the treatment of the incriminating psychosocial aspects in TS are scarce. In this work, we first reviewed the literature on the cognitive and psychosocial development of girls with TS compared with normal development, from disclosure to young adulthood, and then introduce a psychosocial approach to counseling and treating patients with TS, including recommendations for age-appropriate psychological diagnostics. With this work, we aim to facilitate the integration of emphasized psychosocial care in state-of-the-art treatment for girls and women with TS.
Diana-Alexandra Ertl, Andreas Gleiss, Katharina Schubert, Caroline Culen, Peer Hauck, Johannes Ott, Alois Gessl, and Gabriele Haeusler
Previous studies have shown that only a minority of patients with Turner syndrome (TS) have adequate medical care after transfer to adult care.
Aim of this study
To assess the status of medical follow-up and quality of life (QoL) in adult women diagnosed with TS and followed up until transfer. To compare the subjective and objective view of the medical care quality and initiate improvements based on patients’ experiences and current recommendations.
39 adult women with TS out of 64 patients contacted were seen for a clinical and laboratory check, cardiac ultrasound, standardized and structured questionnaires (SF-36v2 and Beck depression inventory).
7/39 of the patients were not being followed medically at all. Only 2/39 consulted all the specialists recommended. Comorbidities were newly diagnosed in 27/39 patients; of these, 11 related to the cardiovascular system. Patients in our cohort scored as high as the mean reference population for SF-36v2 in both mental and physical compartments. Obese participants had lower scores in the physical function section, whereas higher education was related to higher physical QoL scores. Adult height slightly correlated positively with physical health.
Medical follow-up was inadequate in our study cohort of adults with TS. Even though their medical follow-up was insufficient, these women felt adequately treated, leaving them vulnerable for premature illness. Initiatives in health autonomy and a structured transfer process as well as closer collaborations within specialities are urgently needed.