Pathophysiology, risk factors, and screening methods for prediabetes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Evgenia Gourgari, Elias Spanakis, Adrian Sandra Dobs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome associated with insulin resistance (IR), obesity, infertility, and increased cardiometabolic risk. This is a descriptive review of several mechanisms that can explain the IR among women with PCOS, other risk factors for the development of diabetes, and the screening methods used for the detection of glucose intolerance in women with PCOS. Few mechanisms can explain IR in women with PCOS such as obesity, insulin receptor signaling defects, and inhibition of insulin-mediated glucose uptake in adipocytes. Women with PCOS have additional risk factors for the development of glucose intolerance such as family history of diabetes, use of oral contraceptives, anovulation, and age. The Androgen Society in 2007 and the Endocrine Society in 2013 recommended using oral glucose tolerance test as a screening tool for abnormal glucose tolerance in all women with PCOS. The approach to detection of glucose intolerance among women with PCOS varies among health care providers. Large prospective studies are still needed for the development of guidelines with strong evidence. When assessing risk of future diabetes in women with PCOS, it is important to take into account the method used for screening as well as other risk factors that these women might have.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
StatePublished - Aug 10 2016


  • Anovulation
  • BMI
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • IR
  • Insulin resistance
  • OGTT
  • Obesity
  • PCOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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