A Nonrandomized Trial of Progressive Resistance Training Intervention in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Its Implications in Telomere Content

Reprod Sci. 2016 May;23(5):644-54. doi: 10.1177/1933719115611753. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


Background: Physical activity is known to relieve the metabolic complications of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and exercise is also associated with telomere biology. We investigated the changes induced by progressive resistance training (PRT) in telomere content and metabolic disorder in women with PCOS and controls.

Participants and methods: Forty-five women with PCOS and 52 healthy women aged 18 to 37 years were submitted to PRT. A linear periodization of PRT was prepared based on a trend of decreasing volume and intensity throughout the training period. The volunteers performed PRT 3 times a week for 4 months. The participants' physical characteristics and hormonal concentrations were measured before and after PRT, as telomere content that was measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Briefly, Progressive resistance training reduced waist circumference, body fat percentage, plasma testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations, glycemia, and free androgen index. Fasting insulin and insulin resistance index were greater in women with PCOS. Androstenedione and homocysteine increased after PRT. There were no differences in telomere content between controls (0.96 ± 0.3 before vs 0.85 ± 0.21 after) and women with PCOS (0.94 ± 0.33 before vs 0.88 ± 0.39 after). Adjusted analysis showed telomere shortening after PRT in all women (0.95 ± 0.31 before vs 0.86 ± 0.31 after; P = .03). In women with PCOS, increased homocysteine levels were related to telomere reduction and increased androstenedione was positively correlated with telomere content after PRT.

Conclusions: Progressive resistance training had positive effects on the hormonal and physical characteristics of women with PCOS and controls, but telomere content was reduced and homocysteine level increased in all participants.

Keywords: androstenedione; homocysteine; polycystic ovary syndrome; progressive resistance training; telomere content.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / therapy*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Telomere / physiology*
  • Waist Circumference / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose