Differential rate in decline in ovarian reserve markers in women with polycystic ovary syndrome compared with control subjects: results of a longitudinal study

Polycystic ovary syndrome subjects were found to have higher baseline values for all ovarian reserve markers compared with control subjects.

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Volume 109, Issue 3, Pages 526–531


Asima K. Ahmad, M.D., M.P.H., Chia-Ning Kao, B.S., M.S., Molly Quinn, M.D., Nikolaus Lenhart, B.S., Mitchell Rosen, M.D., Marcelle I. Cedars, M.D., Heather Huddleston, M.D.



To estimate rates of ovarian aging in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) subjects versus a community control population.




Tertiary academic center.


PCOS subjects diagnosed according to the 2004 Rotterdam criteria were systematically enrolled in a PCOS cohort study. The comparison control subjects were from the Ovarian Aging study, a prospective longitudinal study of ovarian aging in healthy women with regular menstrual cycles.


Clinical data collection over two study visits.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Antral follicle count (AFC), ovarian volume (OV), and antimüllerian hormone level (AMH).


PCOS subjects were found to have higher baseline values for all ovarian reserve markers compared with control subjects. Univariate models indicated that, compared with control subjects, PCOS patients experienced significantly faster rates of decline for both AFC and AMH. Change in OV did not differ significantly. To account for potential confounder effects, multiple analysis of covariance models were evaluated for the best fit, considering age, body mass index, and baseline ovarian reserve markers. Adjusted models demonstrated that PCOS patients do not experience a significant difference in AFC decline compared with control subjects, but they do experience a faster rate of decline in AMH (P<.01) and slower rate of decline in OV (P<.01).


Ovarian aging in PCOS is characterized by a more rapid decline in AMH and a slower decline in OV compared with control subjects.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.