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Pathophysiology, risk factors, and screening methods for prediabetes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Authors Gourgari E, Spanakis E, Dobs A

Received 22 January 2016

Accepted for publication 10 June 2016

Published 10 August 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 381—387

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S104825

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Fredrick Rosario Joseph

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Evgenia Gourgari,1 Elias Spanakis,2 Adrian Sandra Dobs3

1Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, 2Division of Endocrinology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 3Department of Endocrinology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome associated with insulin resistance (IR), obesity, infertility, and increased cardiometabolic risk. This is a descriptive review of several mechanisms that can explain the IR among women with PCOS, other risk factors for the development of diabetes, and the screening methods used for the detection of glucose intolerance in women with PCOS. Few mechanisms can explain IR in women with PCOS such as obesity, insulin receptor signaling defects, and inhibition of insulin-mediated glucose uptake in adipocytes. Women with PCOS have additional risk factors for the development of glucose intolerance such as family history of diabetes, use of oral contraceptives, anovulation, and age. The Androgen Society in 2007 and the Endocrine Society in 2013 recommended using oral glucose tolerance test as a screening tool for abnormal glucose tolerance in all women with PCOS. The approach to detection of glucose intolerance among women with PCOS varies among health care providers. Large prospective studies are still needed for the development of guidelines with strong evidence. When assessing risk of future diabetes in women with PCOS, it is important to take into account the method used for screening as well as other risk factors that these women might have.

Keywords: IR, OGTT, obesity, hyperandrogenism, anovulation, BMI, insulin resistance, PCOS

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