Metabolic Features of Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Latin America: A Systematic Review

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Oct 19:12:759835. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.759835. eCollection 2021.


Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that commonly affects women of childbearing age and has been associated with metabolic and reproductive abnormalities. Only a few studies have investigated metabolic traits in women with PCOS in Latin America. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review to provide an overview of the available evidence on the metabolic profile of Latin American women with PCOS.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Embase databases for cross-sectional, case-control, or cohort studies focusing on populations of countries in South and Central America and Mexico, published until October 31, 2019. We selected studies that reported the diagnostic criteria for PCOS. In the absence of a control group, we included studies if they reported relevant metabolic data.

Results: The initial search yielded 4878 records, of which 41 studies were included in the systematic review. Sample sizes ranged from 10 to 288 in PCOS groups and from 10 to 1500 in control groups. The prevalence of phenotypes A and B (classic PCOS) ranged from 65.8% to 87.5% as reported in studies from Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Metabolic syndrome ranged from 33.3% to 44.0% for phenotype A, from 15.0% to 58.0% for phenotype B, from 11.9% to 36.0% for phenotype C, and from 14.2% to 66.0% for phenotype D. Women with PCOS had higher body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, and homeostasis model assessment index as well as a more adverse lipid profile than those without PCOS.

Conclusions: Evidence from the present systematic review suggests that anthropometric and metabolic profiles are worse in women with PCOS who live in different Latin American countries than in women without PCOS living in the same region. Additional studies assessing metabolic comorbidities, such as diabetes, and distinct PCOS phenotypes in different Latin American countries are warranted and may produce invaluable information for primary and secondary prevention of PCOS in the region. This systematic review was registered with PROSPERO under number CRD42016038537.

Systematic review registration: PROSPERO, identifier CRD42016038537.

Keywords: Latin America; PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome); insulin resistance; metabolic syndrome; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*