Background: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine problem in women of reproductive age group and has been linked to infertility, insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes.

Objective: In this pilot study we seek to study the impact of meal time habits and physical activity on the prevalence of metabolic syndrome(Met Syn) in Indian women with PCOS.

Methods: 36 women (age: 28±1.4 years, BMI: 31.7 ± 0.84 kg/m2) with a diagnosis of PCOS (NIH criteria) participated in a detailed questionnaire with dietary habits and physical activity. Anthropometric measurements and fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, HbA1c were obtained in all subjects.

Results: In this group of women with PCOS, the prevalence of Met Syn was 43% and only 2 women had lean PCOS (BMI<25kg/m2). The prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose was 9% and 30% respectively. Of the components of Met Syn, all subjects had low HDL and high waist circumference, 25% had hypertension. Dietary history revealed that majority (84%) had a daily breakfast and only 16% skipped the breakfast. However, there was no difference in prevalence of metabolic abnormalities between those who had versus those who did not have breakfast. On the other hand women who were more physically active (>1 hour of physical activity/day) had lower BMI, systolic blood pressure (125± 3.4 vs. 112± 5.4, p<0.05 mm of Hg), a lower triglyceride level and a lower prevalence of Met Syn.

Conclusions: The prevalence of Met Syn was very high in our pilot group of relatively young Indian women with PCOS. Women with lower physical activity had a higher prevalence of metabolic abnormalities suggesting the significance of increasing physical activity to prevent Met Syn in PCOS. Larger studies are indicated to develop dietary and physical activity guidelines specific to this "ethnic" high risk Indian group to prevent future diabetes.


R. Mehta: Advisory Panel; Self; Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lilly Diabetes. Speaker's Bureau; Self; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. H. Varma: None.

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