Prevalence of insulin resistance in the polycystic ovary syndrome using the homeostasis model assessment

Fertil Steril. 2005 May;83(5):1454-60. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.11.070.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of insulin resistance (IR) in a large population of patients with the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Design: Prospective, case-control.

Setting: University medical center.

Patient(s): Two hundred seventy-one PCOS patients and 260 eumenorrheic, non-hirsute, control women.

Intervention(s): History and physical examination and blood sampling.

Main outcome measure(s): Total T, free T, DHEAS, sex hormone-binding globulin, and fasting glucose and insulin levels; homeostatic model assessment values for IR (HOMA-IR) and percent beta-cell function (HOMA-%beta-cell).

Result(s): Patients with PCOS and controls differed significantly in all parameters studied, except fasting glucose. Because the HOMA-IR and HOMA-%beta-cell values were variably associated with race, age, and body mass index, the HOMA-IR and HOMA-%beta-cell values were then adjusted for these cofounders. After adjustment, 64.4% of PCOS patients were noted to be insulin resistant, and 2.6% had beta-cell dysfunction. Compared with PCOS patients without IR (n = 96), patients with IR (n = 174) were more obese and had higher beta-cell function.

Conclusion(s): In patients with PCOS, the prevalence of IR was 64% according to the HOMA-IR measurement, after adjustment. Patients with IR were more clinically affected. Although IR is a common abnormality in PCOS, it does not seem to be a universal feature.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies