Background: About 60% of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have insulin resistance, predisposing them to the premature coronary disease and type 2-diabetes mellitus. However, the history of metabolic disorders in family members of patients with PCOS has been seldom documented in the literature.
Aim: To evaluate the family profile of metabolic disorders of PCOS patients and to determine their relative risk of developing one of them in comparison to a control group.
Patients and methods: Sixty PCOS patients were evaluated. The control group were 60 normal women. The data were obtained from the clinical history and personal interview with the patients, the controls and their relatives (brothers, parents and grandparents). The metabolic disorders considered were: dyslipidemia, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Results: The ages were similar between groups (PCOS: 24.0 +/- 6.3; control group: 24.8 +/- 6.2 years). The prevalence of metabolic disorders was 62% in the relatives of the PCOS patients and 27.8% in the relatives of the control group (p < 0.005). The probability to develop a metabolic disorder within the family was 2.7 (2.2-3.3) fold higher in the PCOS group compared to the control group. The risk of developing hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity and diabetes was 2.1 (1.5-2.9); 1.8 (1.5-2.7); 3.6 (2.6-4.9) and 2.7 (1.8-3.9), respectively, in the PCOS group compared to the control group.
Conclusions: The probability of finding a metabolic disorder in the families of PCOS patients, is 2.7 fold higher than in the control group families. The metabolic disorders are more frequent in parents and grandparents of the PCOS patients than in those of normal women.