Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is considered a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, which is the most appropriate way to evaluate dysglycemia in women with PCOS and who are at increased risk are as yet unclear.
Aim of the study
To determine the prevalence of T2DM, impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in PCOS women and potential factors to identify those at risk.
Subjects and methods
The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), biochemical/hormonal profile, and ovarian ultrasound data from 1614 Caucasian women with PCOS and 362 controls were analyzed in this cross-sectional multicenter study. The data were categorized according to age and BMI.
Dysglycemia (T2DM, IGT, and IFG according to World Health Organization criteria) was more frequent in the PCOS group compared to controls: 2.2% vs 0.8%, P = 0.04; 9.5% vs 7.4%, P = 0.038; 14.2% vs 9.1%, P = 0.002, respectively. OGTT was essential for T2DM diagnosis, since in 88% of them basal glucose values were inconclusive for diagnosis. The presence of either T2DM or IFG was irrespective of age (P = 0.54) and BMI (P = 0.32), although the latter was associated with IGT (P = 0.021). There was no impact of age and BMI status on the prevalence of T2DM or IFG. Regression analysis revealed a role for age, BMI, fat deposition, androgens, and insulin resistance for dysglycemia. However, none of the factors prevailed as a useful marker employed in clinical practice.
One-third of our cohort of PCOS women with either T2DM or IGT displayed normal fasting glucose values but without confirming any specific predictor for dysglycemic condition. Hence, the evaluation of glycemic status using OGTT in all women with PCOS is strongly supported.