Objective: Obesity is considered to be the strongest predictive factor for cardio-metabolic risk in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of the study was to compare blood pressure (BP) in normal weight women with PCOS and controls matched for age and BMI?
Methods: From a Nordic cross-sectional base of 2,615 individuals of Nordic ethnicity, we studied a sub cohort of 793 normal weight women with BMI<25 kg/m2 (512 women with PCOS according to Rotterdam criteria and 281 age and BMI-matched controls). Participants underwent measurements of BP and body composition (BMI, waist-hip ratio), lipid status, and fasting BG. Data were presented as median (quartiles).
Results: The median age for women with PCOS were 28 (25; 32) years, and median BMI was 22.2 (20.7; 23.4) kg/m2. Systolic BP was 118 (109; 128) mmHg in women with PCOS compared to 110 (105; 120) mmHg in controls, and diastolic BP was 74 (67; 81) vs. 70 (64; 75) mmHg, both p<0.001. The prevalence of women with BP ≥140/90 mmHg was 11.1% (57/512) in women with PCOS vs. 1.8% (5/281) in controls, p<0.001. In women ≥ 35 years the prevalence of BP ≥140/90 mmHg was comparable in women with PCOS and controls (12.7% vs. 9.8%, p=0.6). Using multiple regression analyses, the strongest association with BP was found for waist circumference, fasting BG and total cholesterol in women with PCOS.
Conclusions: Normal weight women with PCOS have higher BP than controls. BP and metabolic screening are relevant also in young normal weight women with PCOS.