Abdominal adiposity and the polycystic ovary syndrome

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Sep;18(7):266-72. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2007.07.003. Epub 2007 Aug 10.


Abdominal adiposity, overweightness and obesity are frequently present in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A large body of evidence suggests that abdominal adiposity and the resulting insulin resistance contribute to ovarian and, possibly, adrenal hyperandrogenism. However, androgen excess itself might also contribute to abdominal fat deposition in hyperandrogenic women. Recent genomic and proteomic analyses of visceral fat from PCOS patients have detected differences in gene expression and protein content compared with those of non-hyperandrogenic women. Here we review the existing evidence for a vicious circle whereby androgen excess favoring the abdominal deposition of fat further facilitates androgen secretion by the ovaries and adrenals in PCOS patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Abdominal Fat / physiopathology*
  • Adiposity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / complications
  • Hyperandrogenism / physiopathology
  • Hyperinsulinism / complications
  • Hyperinsulinism / physiopathology
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*


  • Leptin