A 20-year follow-up of young women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Enrico Carmina, Anna Maria Campagna, Roger A. Lobo, Enrico Carmina

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63 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether hormonal, metabolic, and anthropomorphic parameters change over 20 years in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).METHODS: One hundred ninety-three women with PCOS, aged 20–25 years, were diagnosed according to Rotterdam criteria, divided into four phenotypes (A–D), and followed at 5-year intervals for 20 years. Androgens, gonadotropins, insulin, glucose, body mass index, waist circumference, and ovarian volume were measured.RESULTS: At diagnosis, 57% had classic features (phenotype A), 9% had classic features without ovarian findings (phenotype B), 26% had the ovulatory phenotype (C), and 7% were nonhyperandrogenic (D). After 10 years, androgens decreased (P<.05); at 15 years, waist circumference increased (P<.05); at 20 years, ovarian volume decreased (P<.01). Serum luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone decreased nonsignificantly and fasting insulin and quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index were unchanged. Eighty-five women (44%) were ovulatory at 20 years, and 18 women (8%) could no longer be diagnosed as having PCOS.CONCLUSION: After 20 years of follow-up in women with PCOS, androgens and ovarian volume decreased and there were more ovulatory cycles suggesting a milder disorder, whereas metabolic abnormalities persisted and waist circumference increased.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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