Resting metabolic rate and postprandial thermogenesis in polycystic ovarian syndrome

K. R. Segal*, A. Dunaif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


To determine whether the high frequency of obesity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCO) is related to a defect in energy expenditure, resting metabolic rate (RMR) and the thermic response to a standard meal were compared in 10 obese PCO women, nine obese but otherwise normal women, and 11 lean women. All groups were matched with respect to age and fat-free mass and the two obese groups were matched for degree obesity. RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry for 3 h on two days: (1) in the postabsorptive state: and (2) after a 720 kcal (3014 kJ) liquid mixed meal. The thermic effect of food, calculated as 3 h postprandial minus fasting RMR, was significantly greater for the lean [52.9 ± 5.5 kcal/3 h (221 ± 23 kJ/3 h)] than the obese [17.2 ± 5.1 kcal/3 h (72 ± 21 kJ/3 h)] and the PCO women [22.8 ± 5.2 kcal/3 h (95 ± 22 kJ/3)], P < 0.001). The thermic effect of food was negatively related to percent body fat (r = -0.694, P < 0.001). Resting metabolic rate did not differ significantly among the three groups, and was strongly related to fat-free mass (r = 0.687, P < 0.001). These results confirm previous reports of blunted thermogenesis in obese individuals, but provide no evidence of altered resting metabolic rate or postprandial thermogenesis in women with PCO compared with normal women of similar degree of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-567
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990


  • Energy expenditure
  • Fat-free mass
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Thermogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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