University of Oulu

Couto Alves, A., Valcarcel, B., Mäkinen, V., Morin-Papunen, L., Sebert, S., Kangas, A., Soininen, P., Das, S., De Iorio, M., Coin, L., Ala-Korpela, M., Järvelin, M., Franks, S. (2017) Metabolic profiling of polycystic ovary syndrome reveals interactions with abdominal obesity. International Journal of Obesity, 41 (9), 1331-1340. doi:doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.126

Metabolic profiling of polycystic ovary syndrome reveals interactions with abdominal obesity

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Author: Couto Alves, A1; Valcarcel, B2; Mäkinen, V-P3,4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC Health Protection Agency (HPE) Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
2Rheumatology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London
3South Australian Health and Medical Research Center
4SAHMRI, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide
5Computational Medicine, Center for Life-Course Health Research, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital
6Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Oulu, Medical Research Center Oulu and PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu
7Center for Life-Course Health Research, Northern Finland Cohort Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
8Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu
9NMR Metabolomics Laboratory, School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland
10Department of Statistical Science, University College London
11Computational Medicine, School of Social and Community Medicine and the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol
12Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital
13Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-09-29


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common reproductive disorder associated with metabolic disturbances including obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Here we investigate whether changes in the metabolic profile of PCOS women are driven by increased tendency to obesity or are specific features of PCOS related to increased testosterone levels.

Design and methods: We conducted an NMR metabolomics association study of PCOS cases (n=145) and controls (n=687) nested in a population-based birth cohort (n=3127). Subjects were 31 years old at examination. The main analyses were adjusted for waist circumference (WC) as a proxy measure of central obesity. Subsequently, metabolite concentrations were compared between cases and controls within pre-defined WC strata. In each stratum, additional metabolomics association analyses with testosterone levels were conducted separately among cases and controls.

Results: Overall, women with PCOS showed more adverse metabolite profiles than the controls. Four lipid fractions in different subclasses of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) were associated with PCOS, after adjusting for WC and correction for multiple testing (P<0.002). In stratified analysis the PCOS women within large WC strata (greater than or equal to 98 cm) had significantly lower high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, Apo A1 and albumin values compared with the controls. Testosterone levels were significantly associated with VLDL and serum lipids in PCOS cases with large WC but not in the controls. The higher testosterone levels, adjusted for WC, associated adversely with insulin levels and HOMA IR in cases but not in the controls.

Conclusions: Our findings show that both abdominal obesity and hyperandrogenism contribute to the dyslipidaemia and other metabolic traits of PCOS which all may negatively contribute to the long-term health of women with PCOS.

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Series: International journal of obesity
ISSN: 0307-0565
ISSN-E: 1476-5497
ISSN-L: 0307-0565
Volume: 41
Issue: 9
Pages: 1331 - 1340
DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2017.126
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: Financial support was received from the Academy of Finland (project grants 104781, 120315, 129269, 1114194), University Hospital Oulu, Biocenter, University of Oulu, Finland (75617), the European Commission (EURO-BLCS, Framework 5 award QLG1-CT-2000-01643), the Medical Research Council, UK (G0500539, G0600705, PrevMetSyn/SALVE and programme grant (SF) G0802782) and the Wellcome Trust (project grant GR069224), UK, and the EU Framework Programme 7 small-scale focused research collaborative project EurHEALTHAgeing 277849. We also acknowledge the support of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Imperial Biomedical Research Centre UK. VM was funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation Postdoc Pool. The computational medicine team (AJK, PS, MAK) has been funded by the Academy of Finland, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Strategic Research Funding from the University of Oulu.
EU Grant Number: (277849) EURHEALTHAGEING - European ResearcH on DevElopmentAL, BirtH and Genetic Determinants of Ageing
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 120315
Detailed Information: 120315 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
129269 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
114194 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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