Vitamin D deficiency is common and associated with metabolic risk factors in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

Metabolism. 2011 Oct;60(10):1475-81. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 May 6.


Both vitamin D deficiency and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are associated with aspects of metabolic syndrome, but it is unclear whether vitamin D deficiency contributes to the metabolic disturbances commonly found in women with PCOS. This study sought to investigate (1) the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in PCOS women in Scotland and (2) the relationship between vitamin D status and metabolic risk factors. This was an observational study on 52 women (25 in PCOS group and 27 in control group). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations less than 25 nmol/L were classified as severe vitamin D deficiency and were found in 44.0% and 11.2% of subjects in the PCOS and control groups, respectively (P = .047). Among the PCOS subjects, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were negatively correlated with body mass index (P = .033), C-reactive protein (P = .027), and free androgen index (P = .025) and positively correlated with quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (P = .035), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (P = .033), and sex hormone binding globulin (P = .038). Associations of vitamin D deficiency with quantitative insulin sensitivity check index and HDL-C were independent of body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio. Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in PCOS women in Scotland, and a larger proportion of PCOS patients than control women were found to be vitamin D deficient. We also demonstrate correlations of vitamin D status with insulin sensitivity, HDL-C, and C-reactive protein in PCOS patients, which support the increasing evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple metabolic risk factors in PCOS women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / blood
  • Hyperandrogenism / complications
  • Hyperandrogenism / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D