Does a male polycystic ovarian syndrome equivalent exist?

J Endocrinol Invest. 2018 Jan;41(1):49-57. doi: 10.1007/s40618-017-0728-5. Epub 2017 Jul 15.


The occurrence of a genetic background in the etiology of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) represents the rational basis to postulate the existence of a male PCOS equivalent. Hormonal and metabolic abnormalities have been described in male relatives of women with PCOS. These males also have a higher prevalence of early onset (<35 years) androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Hence, this feature has been proposed as a clinical sign of the male PCOS equivalent. Clinical evidence has shown that men with early onset AGA have hormonal and metabolic abnormalities. Large cohort studies have clearly shown a higher prevalence of type II diabetes mellitus (DM II) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in elderly men with early onset AGA. In addition, prostate cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis have been described. These findings support the existence of the male PCOS equivalent, which may represent an endocrine syndrome with a metabolic background, and might predispose to the development of DM II, CVDs, prostate cancer, BPH and prostatitis later in life. Its acknowledgment would be helpful for the prevention of these long-term complications.

Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; Benign prostate hyperplasia; Cardiovascular diseases; Insulin resistance; Polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / genetics*
  • Alopecia / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / genetics*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism