Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Signs and Metabolic Syndrome in Premenopausal Hispanic/Latina Women: the HCHS/SOL Study

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Mar 1;105(3):e447-e456. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa012.


Context: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition of androgen excess in women, is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors; however, this association is not fully characterized in a population-based sample of premenopausal women and high-risk groups such as Hispanics/Latinas.

Objective: We examined the association of PCOS signs and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in premenopausal Hispanic/Latina women.

Methods: This cross-sectional analysis includes 1427 women age 24 to 44 years from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. PCOS signs included menstrual cycle greater than 35 days or irregular, self-reported PCOS, and oral contraceptive use to regulate periods or acne, and a composite of 1 or more PCOS signs. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% CI for MetS, accounting for sociodemographic factors and the complex survey design; an additional model included body mass index (BMI).

Results: The mean age was 34 years and 30% reported any PCOS sign. The odds of MetS were higher in women reporting cycles greater than 35 days or irregular (OR 1.63; CI: 1.07-2.49) vs cycles 24 to 35 days, self-reported PCOS (OR 2.49; CI: 1.38-4.50) vs no PCOS, and any PCOS sign (OR 1.58; CI: 1.10-2.26) vs none. We found no association between OC use to regulate periods or acne and MetS (OR 1.1; CI: 0.6-1.8). When adjusting for BMI, only the association of self-reported PCOS and MetS was attenuated (OR 1.78; CI: 0.92-3.44).

Conclusions: In Hispanic/Latina women, irregular menstrual cycles, self-reported PCOS, and any PCOS sign were associated with MetS and could indicate women at metabolic disease risk.

Keywords: androgen excess; cardiometabolic risk factors; polycystic ovary syndrome; testosterone; women’s health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / ethnology*
  • Premenopause* / ethnology
  • Premenopause* / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult