This study was designed to examine the relationship between homocysteine (Hcy), lipoprotein levels and insulin resistance in obese and non-obese patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Eighty-five patients (38 obese, 47 non-obese) with PCOS and 50 healthy subjects (25 obese, 25 non-obese) were included in the study. PCOS was defined according to the Homburg criterion. Serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), insulin, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, free testosterone, androstenedione, vitamin B12 and folate were measured. Also, serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)), apoprotein B (Apo B) and apoprotein A (Apo A) were determined. Plasma Hcy levels were measured. Insulin resistance was evaluated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA).
Plasma Hcy levels were significantly higher in women with PCOS than in healthy women. HOMA-R (insulin resistance) was significantly higher in women with PCOS compared with healthy women. Serum fasting TC, LDL-C, TG, Apo B, vitamin B12 and folate levels were similar between PCOS and control groups. Lp(a) levels were higher in PCOS patients than in control subjects, whereas HDL-C and Apo A levels were lower. Compared with obese PCOS subjects, non-obese PCOS subjects had low HOMA-R, TC, LDL-C, TG, Apo B, Lp(a) and androgen levels. Plasma Hcy levels, serum HDL-C and Apo A levels were similar between obese and non-obese women with PCOS. Levels of HDL-C and Apo A were lower in both obese and non-obese PCOS patients than in obese and non-obese control subjects, whereas Lp(a) levels were higher. No correlation was observed between plasma Hcy, body mass index, HOMA-R, serum androgen levels, TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, Apo A, Apo B and Lp(a) levels.
These results showed that elevated insulin resistance and plasma Hcy levels, and changes in serum lipid profile, which are possible risk factors for cardiovascular disorders, play important roles in the development of cardiovascular disease in both obese and non-obese patients with PCOS.