Comparison of metabolic syndrome elements in White and Asian women with polycystic ovary syndrome: results of a regional, American cross-sectional study

Reproductive Endocrinology

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VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3, P305-313, DECEMBER 01, 2020


Nikhita Chahal, M.D., Molly Quinn, M.D., Eleni A. Jaswa, M.D., M.Sc., Chia-Ning Kao, M.S., Marcelle I. Cedars, M.D., Heather G. Huddleston, M.D. 



To examine differences in metabolic dysfunction between White, East Asian, and South Asian women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) living in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.


Cross-sectional study.


Referral clinic at an academic center.


A total of 243 White, 25 South Asian, and 38 East Asian women with PCOS, according to the Rotterdam criteria, aged 14–57 years, were recruited from May 2006 to May 2017.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Fasting and 2-hour insulin and glucose, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and fasting lipids. Metabolic syndrome and its five individual components were defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel guidelines.


Median baseline body mass index (25.9 vs. 24.8 vs. 24.0 kg/m2) and age (28.3 vs. 25.2 vs. 29.4 years) did not differ between White, South Asian, and East Asian women. Two-hour insulin levels were elevated in East and South Asian women at >25–30 and >30 years, respectively, compared with White women in the same age groups. Two-hour glucose level was also elevated in East Asian women compared with White women at age >30 years. No other differences were detected in continuous metabolic markers or in the risk of metabolic syndrome and its components across the three race categories.


White, South Asian, and East Asian women with PCOS living in the same geographic region have comparable metabolic profiles to one another, although Asian women have higher 2-hour insulin levels and East Asian women, in particular, have higher 2-hour glucose levels.

Fertility and Sterility

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