Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy in women of reproductive
age with a probable prevalence of 5% to 10%. PCOS is characterized by chronic anovulation,
menstrual irregularities, evidence of hyperandrogenism (either clinical, manifested as
hirsutism, acne, male pattern balding, or biochemical, manifested by elevated serum adrenal
and/or ovarian androgen concentration). Fifty percent of all patients with PCOS are obese,
and the presence of obesity affects the clinical manifestations of PCOS. The underlying
pathogenic mechanisms appear to involve insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, the
magnitude of which is greater in obese than in non-obese women with PCOS.
Observational Model: Defined Population, Observational Model: Natural History, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional, Time Perspective: Prospective
Horng-Nerng Ho, M.D.
Taiwan: Department of Health