Age-related differences in features associated with polycystic ovary syndrome in normogonadotrophic oligo-amenorrhoeic infertile women of reproductive years.

Division of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
European Journal of Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 3.69). 01/2002; 145(6):749-55.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the effect of age on clinical, endocrine and sonographic features associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in normogonadotrophic anovulatory infertile women of reproductive years.
Cross-sectional study.
Four hundred and seventy-two oligo-amenorrhoeic infertile patients, presenting with normal FSH and oestradiol concentrations, aged 17-42 years underwent a standardised initial evaluation including: cycle history, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and transvaginal ultrasound scanning of ovaries. Fasting blood samples were obtained for extensive endocrine evaluation. Cycle duration, serum levels of gonadotrophins, androgens, oestradiol, insulin, glucose, inhibin B as well as mean number of follicles, ovarian volume and ovarian stroma echogenicity were assessed.
Older women had significantly lower LH and androgen and inhibin B serum levels. Similarly, older women presented with a reduced number of ovarian follicles. Age was inversely correlated with cycle duration (r=-0.112, P=0.02), LH (r=-0.154, P=0.001), testosterone (r=-0.194, P=0.001), androstenedione (r=-0.170, P=0.001), dehydroepiandrosterone (r=-0.157, P=0.001), insulin (r=-0.126, P=0.02), inhibin B (r=-0.118, P=0.03) serum levels and mean follicle number (r=-0.100, P=0.03). A positive correlation was observed between age and glucose to insulin ratio (r=0.138, P=0.009).
Advanced age in normogonadotrophic anovulatory infertile women is associated with lower LH and androgen levels and with a decreased number of ovarian follicles. Although during reproductive years observed differences are relatively small, these age-related changes may affect the observed incidence of PCOS.

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