Impact of insulin resistance on pregnancy complications and outcome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2002;54(2):94-8. doi: 10.1159/000067719.


The aim of the study was to determine the risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)/pre-eclampsia in a cohort of pregnant women with the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and known insulin sensitivity status. Pregnancies and neonatal outcome were recorded in a prospective cohort study comprising 29 non-insulin-resistant PCOS women, 23 insulin-resistant PCOS women and a control group of 355 women who had conceived after assisted reproduction. Hypertension, pre-eclampsia and GDM were recorded as well as pregnancy duration, method of delivery and birth weight. The frequency of hypertension was significantly elevated in PCOS women (11.5%) compared to controls (0.3%), p < 0.01. However, the frequency of pre-eclampsia was significantly elevated only in the insulin resistant PCOS women (13.5%) compared to controls (7.0%), p < 0.02. GDM was significantly more frequent in PCOS women (7.7%) than controls (0.6%), p < 0.01. Insulin resistance prior to pregnancy, determined by continuous infusion of glucose with model assessment (CIGMA) test, did not further increase the frequency of GDM. Newborns from PCOS pregnancies were significantly more often delivered by Caesarean section than controls (40.3 vs. 27.3%, p < 0.05) and transferred to neonatal intensive care unit more often than controls (19.2 vs. 9.0%, p < 0.01). Thus we show that the frequencies of pre-eclampsia and GDM are increased in PCOS pregnancies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies