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Hormonal, Metabolic Parameters of PCOS May Vary by Region

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome who are from Alabama are more likely to be hirsute; those from California are more likely to have hyperandrogenemia

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Regional differences in hormonal and metabolic parameters among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in California and Alabama indicate potential environmental impacts on PCOS, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Katherine VanHise, M.D., from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study at tertiary care-based specialty clinics in Alabama and California to examine hormonal and metabolic parameters of women with PCOS. A total of 1,610 women with PCOS from 1987 to 2010 were included.

The researchers found that Alabama women with PCOS had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were younger. They were also more likely hirsute after adjustment for age and BMI (adjusted odds ratio, 1.8), with elevated homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance scores (adjusted beta coefficient, 3.6). Hyperandrogenemia was more likely among California women with PCOS (adjusted odds ratios, 0.14 and 0.41 for free testosterone and total testosterone, respectively). When stratified by White race, results were similar. In Black women with PCOS, there was no difference in BMI and the waist-to-hip ratio between locations, but the differences in androgen profiles and metabolic dysfunction persisted.

“This study suggests there are regional differences in hormonal and metabolic parameters in women with PCOS in California and Alabama, highlighting the impact of differing genetic and environmental modulators on PCOS development,” the authors write. “Ongoing research is needed to identify modifiable environmental risk factors for PCOS that may be race and ethnic specific to bring precision medicine to the management of PCOS.”

Two authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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