Follistatin and activins in polycystic ovary syndrome: relationship to metabolic and hormonal markers

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is common and has reproductive and metabolic manifestations. Activin A and follistatin levels remain controversial and activin B levels are unstudied in PCOS. The aim of this study was to evaluate activin A, activin B and follistatin levels and to examine their associations with metabolic status in overweight and obese women with and without PCOS. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study assessing overweight and obese, premenopausal women with PCOS (n=51, n=26 National Institutes of Health (NIH) and n=25 non-NIH) and without PCOS (n=25 controls). Outcomes included activin A, activin B, follistatin and activin A/follistatin ratio and the association of the activins and follistatin with metabolic variables. RESULTS: Activin A, activin B and activin A/follistatin ratio were not significantly different and follistatin was elevated for PCOS versus controls (P=0.01) independent of age or BMI. Follistatin levels were significantly different across the PCOS phenotypes (p=0.05), however this was a non-significant trend (after correction for age and BMI) for women with NIH PCOS or non-NIH PCOS to have elevated levels in comparison to controls. Activin A was most strongly predicted by low density lipoprotein/high density lipoprotein (r(2)=0.192, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394 - 1400
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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