Changes in the PCOS phenotype with age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder of reproductive-age women. The diagnosis of PCOS is mainly based on the following three components: (1) hyperandrogenism, (2) oligo-amenorrhea, and (3) the observation of polycystic ovaries on a sonogram. The comorbidities may include insulin resistance, type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Importantly, the diagnostic criteria and complications related to PCOS are age-dependent. Androgen production in women may decrease because of ovarian aging or decreased production by the adrenal glands over time. The prevalence of hirsutism and acne decreases with age. Ovarian volume and follicle number also decrease with age, with the age-related decrease in follicle number seemingly greater than that of ovarian volume. Aging may also be associated with increased risk of insulin resistance and metabolic disturbances. Therefore, these age-related changes may affect the observed incidence and complications of PCOS. In adolescent patients, the criteria described above pose particular diagnostic problems because the characteristics of normal puberty often overlap with the signs and symptoms of PCOS. Hyperandrogenism and chronic anovulation are the primary disturbances in younger women with PCOS; whereas, obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic disturbances are predominant in older women with PCOS. The deterioration of insulin resistance during the reproductive life of women with PCOS appears to be mainly attributable to the increase in obesity. Therefore, if body weight could be controlled properly, younger hyperandrogenic PCOS women might reduce their risk of insulin resistance and metabolic disturbances later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-766
Number of pages6
JournalSteroids
Volume78
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Fingerprint

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Insulin
Phenotype
Insulin Resistance
Aging of materials
Hyperandrogenism
Medical problems
Androgens
Deterioration
Obesity
Anovulation
Hirsutism
Ovarian Follicle
Amenorrhea
Acne Vulgaris
Puberty
Adrenal Glands
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Signs and Symptoms
Comorbidity

Keywords

  • Age
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Phenotypes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Changes in the PCOS phenotype with age. / Hsu, Ming-I.

In: Steroids, Vol. 78, No. 8, 08.2013, p. 761-766.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hsu, Ming-I. / Changes in the PCOS phenotype with age. In: Steroids. 2013 ; Vol. 78, No. 8. pp. 761-766.
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