Metabolic dysfunction in obese Hispanic women with PCOS

Study question: Are certain ethnic groups with PCOS at increased risk of metabolic disorders? Summary answer: Obese Hispanic women with PCOS are at increased risk of metabolic disorders compared to age- and BMI-matched obese non-Hispanic white women with PCOS in the United States. What is known already: Ethnic differences in body composition and metabolic risk are well established. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder in reproductive age women and is associated with high rates of insulin resistance, glucose intolerance anddyslipidemia. Study design, size, duration: A cross-sectional observational study was performed at an Academic Medical Center on 60 reproductive age women with PCOS in the United States. Participants/materials, setting, methods: Fasting blood was obtained from 17 Hispanic, 22 non-Hispanic black and 21 non-Hispanic white women with PCOS who were similar in age and BMI. Anthropometric parameters, insulin, lipid and lipoprotein levels by nuclear magnetic resonance were compared between the 3 groups. Main results and the role of chance: Age and BMI were similar between the groups (P=0.52 for age and P=0.60 for BMI). Hispanic women with PCOS had higher waist to hip ratio (WHR) (P=0.02), HOMA-IR (P=0.03), and a more atherogenic lipid and lipoprotein profile consisting of lower HDL (P=0.02), higher LDL particle number (P=0.02), higher VLDL particle size (P=0.03) and lower LDL (P=0.03) and HDL particle size (P=0.005) compared to non-Hispanic white women. The differences in HDL, HOMA-IR, VLDL and LDL size did not persist after adjustment for WHR while differences in LDL particle number (P=0.04) and HDL size (P=0.01) persisted.