PCOS and Obesity

January 8, 2008 at 5:35 pm 1 comment

We often hear that obesity causes PCOS.

Yet a newly published study, in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism – Impact of Obesity on the Risk for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – finds that excess body weight is not the driving factor in risk for developing PCOS.

The researchers set out to understand the population prevalence of PCOS by BMI (body mass index) and found in their cohort of women that:

  • 8.2% of underweight women (BMI less than 18)
  • 9.8% of normal weight women (BMI 18-24.9)
  • 9.9% of overweight women (BMI 25-29.9)
  • 9.0% of obese women (BMI greater than 30)

When BMI was higher – between 35-40 – the incidence of PCOS rose to 12.4% of those women, and when BMI exceeded 40, the incidence of PCOS was 11.5%. These higher rates of incidence were not statistically significant however.

The researchers concluded their “results suggest that the risk of PCOS is only minimally increased with obesity, although the degree of obesity of PCOS patients has increased, similar to that observed in the general population. These data indicate that obesity in PCOS reflects environmental factors to a great extent.”


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. OhYeahBabe  |  January 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for starting this blog. I have forwarded this post to my PCOS yahoogroup for discussion, and gave them the link to your blog.

    If you, or anyone reading, would like to join the group, it is found here:
    It has been a little slow lately, but there are a lot of really nice people there. Regina, I thought it might be useful for you to be able to ask us questions about our experiences, if you like!

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