Clinical characteristics of polycystic ovary syndrome: investigating differences in White and South Asian women.

Research paper by Hamidreza H Mani, Melanie J MJ Davies, Danielle H DH Bodicoat, Miles J MJ Levy, Laura J LJ Gray, Trevor A TA Howlett, Kamlesh K Khunti

Indexed on: 01 Apr '15Published on: 01 Apr '15Published in: Clinical Endocrinology


To understand the phenotypic presentation of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) of different ethnicities and at different ages.Cross-sectional, retrospective data analysis (1988 - 2009).Specialist clinic in a University Hospital, Leicestershire, UK.Women with PCOS, n = 1310 (mean age 26·2 years), 70·9% White and 29·1% South Asian (SA) attending a speciality clinic in Leicester UK.Clinical and demographic characteristics of women with PCOS including age at first clinic appointment, signs and symptoms, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP).Compared to White women, the SA were younger (24·3 vs 27·1 years, P < 0·001), less likely to smoke (3·7% vs 17·9% P < 0·001) and had a higher prevalence of acanthosis nigricans (AN) (16·8% vs 3·1% P < 0·001), type 2 diabetes (T2DM) (8·1% vs 5·6%, P < 0·01) and hirsutism (88·5% vs 77·4%, P < 0·001), with lower systolic (126·5 vs 133·0 mmHg, P < 0·001), diastolic BP (71·8 vs 75·1 mmHg P = 0·008) and BMI (29·3 vs 31·5 kg/m(2) P = 0·002). Differences in body weight remained when participants were classified as obese, overweight and normal according to ethnicity-specific cut-off points (P = 0·048). In both ethnicities, those aged ≥30 years old had higher rates of obesity, T2DM, hypertension and infertility, and less acne, and oligomenorrhoea. Obesity was associated with increased T2DM, AN, systolic/diastolic BP, hirsutism and infertility.The phenotypic and metabolic presentations of women with PCOS appear to be significantly different depending on ethnicity, obesity and age. This has implications for management strategies in these groups.