Author(s): Schmidt J, Brnnstrm M, LandinWilhelmsen K, Dahlgren E
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Abstract CONTEXT: The hormonal and anthropometric profile of premenopausal women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is well described, but there is a lack of data concerning changes in these variables into the postmenopausal period. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to examine whether PCOS women differ from normal women regarding levels of reproductive hormones, anthropometry, and presence of hirsutism/climacteric symptoms also after menopause. DESIGN AND SETTING: In this prospective study, women with PCOS (61-79 yr) and age-matched controls, examined in 1987, were reinvestigated at a university hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-five PCOS patients (Rotterdam criteria) and 68 controls (randomly allocated from the Gothenburg WHO MONICA study) participated. INTERVENTIONS: Reexamination and hormonal measurements were done 21 yr after previous visit. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: FSH, LH, TSH, thyroid peroxidase antibodies, prolactin, estrone, estradiol, SHBG, androstenedione, total testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, free androgen index, and anthropometry were determined. Presence of climacteric symptoms, hirsutism, and menopausal age were recorded. RESULTS: PCOS women had higher free androgen index (P = 0.001) but lower FSH (P < 0.001) and SHBG (P < 0.01) than controls. Menopausal age, body weight, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, LH, prolactin, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, total testosterone, estradiol, and estrone were similar in PCOS and controls. Women with PCOS reported hirsutism more frequently (P < 0.001) but had fewer climacteric symptoms (P < 0.05) and hypothyroidism than controls (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: PCOS women differ from controls with regard to levels of certain reproductive hormones also after menopause, but the established premenopausal increase in waist to hip ratio in PCOS patients disappeared after menopause, mainly due to weight gain among controls. A novel finding was the lower prevalence of hypothyroidism in PCOS women.
This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism