Relationship of adolescent polycystic ovary syndrome to parental metabolic syndrome

Natasha I. Leibel, Elizabeth E. Baumann, Masha Kocherginsky, Robert L. Rosenfield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Context: We determined the relationship of metabolic syndrome (MBS) to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Objective: We tested the hypothesis that parental MBS is related to the PCOS phenotype in their offspring. Design/Setting: We phenotyped for MBS and PCOS in our General Clinical Research Center. Patients: Girls with PCOS, 12-19 yr old (n = 36, including one pair of siblings), and their parents (35 mothers, 19 fathers) were recruited from the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic. Healthy girls, 12-19 yr old (n = 21), were recruited as a reference population. Interventions: We measured anthropometrics, blood pressure, fasting lipids and androgens, oral glucose tolerance, and ultrasonographically determined polycystic ovary status. Main Outcome Measures: MBS in parents, and PCOS features in mothers, were related to the presence of PCOS features in probands. Results: Fathers had strikingly high prevalence of excess adiposity (94% were obese or overweight) and MBS (79%). Premenopausal mothers more commonly had MBS (36%) than features of PCOS (≤22%). Polycystic ovaries in proband offspring of premenopausal mothers were associated with maternal polycystic ovaries only in a minority of cases. Proband polycystic ovary status was completely concordant to fathers' MBS status (P = 0.008), but not their own or their mothers' MBS status, in families whose premenopausal mothers lacked polycystic ovaries. Proband prevalence of MBS was 27.8%, 3-fold greater than expected for obesity status. Conclusion: Familial factors related to paternal MBS seem to be fundamental to the pathogenesis of PCOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1283
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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