Vol 62, No 3 (2011)
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Published online: 2011-06-29

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The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in Iranian women based on different diagnostic criteria

Ferdous Mehrabian, Behnaz Khani, Roya Kelishadi, Elham Ghanbari
Endokrynol Pol 2011;62(3):238-242.


Background: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in Iranian women based on different diagnostic criteria.
Material and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 in Isfahan, Iran among females referred to the mandatory pre-marriage screening clinic. Menstrual irregularity was assessed as the presence of chronic amenorrhea or a menstrual cycle length of less than 21 days or more than 35 days, or more than four days of variation between cycles. Clinical hyperandrogenism was assessed as the self-reported degree of hirsutism using the modified Ferriman Gallwey (mF-G) scoring method based on a chart displaying degree of hair growth in nine regions. Those participants who reported menstrual irregularity and/or who had an mF-G score of ≥ 8 were invited for a clinical examination. Those who did not have these criteria were not further evaluated and were deemed not to have PCOS. Participants with abnormal findings underwent blood test and abdominal sonography of their ovaries. In those with hirsutism, serum was obtained on the 22nd–24th day of the cycle for the measurement of progesterone; free testosterone was measured in those with menstrual irregularity.
Results: The estimated prevalence of PCOS was 7% based on the NIH criteria, 15.2% under the Rotterdam criteria, and 7.92% according to the AES criteria.
Conclusion: The Rotterdam prevalence estimates were double those obtained with the NIH criteria. This study can be used for international comparisons because it was conducted on a representative sample of females using different criteria for the definition of PCOS. (Pol J Endocrinol 2011; 62 (3): 238–242)

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