Context: In overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the benefits of the addition of exercise to an energy-restricted diet in further improving cardiometabolic risk factors and reproductive function has not been extensively studied.
Objective: The objective was to evaluate the effects of aerobic and aerobic-resistance exercise when combined with an energy-restricted high protein diet (5000-6000 kJ/d) on metabolic risk factors and reproductive function in women with PCOS.
Design and setting: A 20-wk outpatient, randomized, parallel study was conducted in a metropolitan research clinic.
Patients and intervention: Ninety-four overweight and obese women with PCOS (age 29.3 +/- 0.7 yr; body mass index 36.1 +/- 0.5 kg/m2) were randomized to diet only (DO; n = 30), diet and aerobic exercise (DA; n = 31), or diet and combined aerobic-resistance exercise (DC; n = 33).
Main outcome measures: Weight, body composition, cardiometabolic risk factors, hormonal status, menstrual cyclicity, and ovulatory function were assessed.
Results: All interventions reduced weight (DO 8.9 +/- 1.6%, DA 10.6 +/- 1.7%, and DC 8.7 +/- 1.7%; P < 0.001) with no difference between treatments (P = 0.7, time x treatment). Fat mass decreased more (3 kg) and fat-free mass decreased less (2 kg) in DA and DC compared with DO (P < or = 0.03). Reductions in blood pressure (5.6/2.7 mm Hg), triglycerides (0.4 mmol/liter), total cholesterol (0.5 mmol/liter), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.1 mmol/liter), glucose (0.2 mmol/liter), fasting insulin (4.3 mIU/liter), testosterone (0.4 nmol/liter), and free androgen index (2.8) (P < 0.001) and improvements in SHBG (7.0 nmol/liter) and reproductive function occurred in all groups, with no difference between treatments.
Conclusion: In overweight and obese women with PCOS, the addition of aerobic or combined aerobic-resistance exercise to an energy-restricted diet improved body composition but had no additional effect on improvements in cardiometabolic, hormonal, and reproductive outcomes relative to diet alone.