Stress in women: metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Nov;1083:54-62. doi: 10.1196/annals.1367.006.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous syndrome that is characterized from oligo- or anovulation, clinical and/or biochemical signs of hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Clinical expression is determined by genetic as well as environmental factors. Women with PCOS are a specific group of women which have several aspects of metabolic syndrome (MBS). Concomitantly MBS could be part of metabolic abnormalities present in PCOS. Stress has been linked to aggravate the metabolic abnormalities present in MBS. An interaction seems to exist between stress, environmental, as well as genetic factors, starting from the prenatal age and continuing to the adult life. This results in specific endocrinological and metabolic disorders which are shared by women with PCOS and women with MBS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Obesity / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Stress, Physiological / complications*