Basal metabolic rate is decreased in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and biochemical hyperandrogenemia and is associated with insulin resistance

Fertil Steril. 2009 Jul;92(1):250-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.04.067. Epub 2008 Aug 3.


Objective: To evaluate basal metabolic rate (BMR) in women with PCOS and to determine its association with insulin resistance (IR).

Design: Prospective assessment of BMR in women with PCOS.

Setting: Outpatient clinic of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology.

Patient(s): The study included 91 Greek women with PCOS and biochemical hyperandrogenemia, with mean age 24.03 +/- 0.55 years and mean body mass index (BMI) 26.67 +/- 0.69 kg/m(2), and 48 matched regularly menstruating women, with mean age 26.33 +/- 0.93 years and mean BMI 23.35 +/- 0.85 kg/m(2), as control subjects.

Intervention(s): Assessment of BMR by indirect calorimetry, IR by HOMA and QUICKI indices, fasting insulin, and fasting glucose/insulin ratio.

Main outcome measure(s): Reduced BMR in PCOS with or without IR.

Result(s): Adjusted BMR was 1,868 +/- 41 kcal/day in the control group, 1,445.57 +/- 76 in all PCOS women, 1,590 +/- 130 in PCOS women without IR and 1,116 +/- 106 in PCOS women with IR. Adjusted BMR showed a statistically significant difference between women with PCOS and control subjects, with lowest values in the group of PCOS women with IR, even after adjusting all groups for age and BMI.

Conclusion(s): Women with PCOS, particularly those with IR, present a significantly decreased BMR.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Metabolism / physiology*
  • Body Composition*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / complications
  • Hyperandrogenism / physiopathology*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult