Endocrine characteristics, body mass index and metabolic syndrome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Jian Li, Qi Wu, Chi Chiu Wang, Rui Wang, Ernest H.Y. Ng, Jian Ping Liu, Ben Willem J. Mol, Xiao Ke Wu* (Corresponding Author), Wen Tao Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Research question: The study aimed to evaluate the associations of endocrine and ultrasound characteristics with metabolic syndrome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and whether these associations were modified by body mass index (BMI). Design: The study was a secondary analysis of baseline data from a randomized controlled trial of induction of ovulation in women with PCOS. Results: Among 947 Chinese women with PCOS, 153 (16.2%) were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in women with normal (<24 kg/m2) and high (≥24 kg/m2) BMI was 3.6% and 30.5%, respectively. In all women, a high free androgen index (FAI ≥5%) was positively associated with metabolic syndrome (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11–3.82). High FAI was positively associated with metabolic syndrome among women with high BMI (adjusted OR 3.37, 95% CI 1.78–6.37), but the association was not significant in women with normal BMI (adjusted OR 1.27, 95% CI 0.34–4.70). The presence of polycystic ovary morphology was negatively associated with metabolic syndrome (adjusted OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.26–1.03) in all women (normal BMI adjusted OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.11–1.67; high BMI adjusted OR 0.54, 95% CI 0.23–1.28). LH, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) were negatively associated with metabolic syndrome. The associations of FAI, SHBG and AMH in relation to metabolic syndrome were significantly modified by BMI. Conclusion(s): The associations of endocrine characteristic with metabolic syndrome were modified by BMI in women with PCOS. Women with PCOS and normal BMI did not have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-876
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive Biomedicine Online
Issue number5
Early online date7 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: The Steering Committee members included Tai-Xiang Wu, Elisabet Stener-Victorin and Heping Zhang, and Richard S. Legro (Chair). The Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) members included Esther Eisenberg, Wei-Liang Weng, Su-Lun Sun, Wei Zou and Zi-Dan Chen, and Robert Rebar (Chair). Principal investigators participated in patient recruitment at local sites. Other personnel with administrative resource supports included Song-Jiang Liu, Gui-Yuan Wang, Yan-Qiu Du, Yang Xia, Shu-Lai Li, Ke-Qiu Zhang and Jian-Hua Shen. Yan Li, Wen-Juan Shen, Wei Li and Jing Cong were involved in protocol preparation and blood sample management in Harbin office and core laboratory.
Funding support from National Public Welfare Projects for Chinese Medicine (201507001, 201107005), the National Key Discipline of Chinese Medicine in Gynecology, was given during 2009–2016 to the First Affiliated Hospital, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine. Other funding came from the Health and Medical Research Fund (06171026) from the Food and Health Bureau, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Centre for Research Excellence in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (APP1078444).

B.W.M is supported by a NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship (GNT1082548) and also reports consultancy for ObsEva, Merck Merck KGaA and Guerbet.

Data Availability Statement

No data availability statement


  • Body mass index
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome


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