Vol 62, No 2 (2011)
Original paper
Published online: 2011-04-29

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Hormonal abnormalities in first-degree relatives of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Agnieszka Lenarcik, Bożena Bidzińska-Speichert, Urszula Tworowska-Bardzińska, Katarzyna Krępuła
Endokrynol Pol 2011;62(2):129-133.

Abstract

Introduction: A body of evidence points to a familial aggregation of hormonal abnormalities in first-degree relatives of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The aim of this study was to determine whether siblings of women with PCOS had evidence of hormonal abnormalities typical of PCOS.
Material and methods: Eighty-six siblings of women with PCOS (44 sisters, 42 brothers) were recruited. Two control groups consisted of 70 healthy women and 30 healthy men. Anthropometric, hormonal (testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA-S, LH, FSH) parameters and SHBG were assessed in all subjects.
Results: Mean testosterone and DHEA-S levels were higher in sisters of women with PCOS than in the control women. In eight of the 44 (18.2%) sisters, a diagnosis of PCOS was made. Mean testosterone and androstenedione levels, and free androgen index (FAI) were significantly higher in sisters with PCOS compared to the sisters without PCOS. Brothers of women with PCOS had higher DHEA-S level than the control men. Eleven of the 42 (26.2%) brothers had alopecia occurring before the age of 30. Prematurely balding brothers did not differ from the non-balding brothers in hormonal parameters.
Conclusions: Siblings of women with PCOS are predisposed to hormonal abnormalities typical of PCOS. The symptom of premature balding under the age of 30 in brothers of women with PCOS should not be considered as a male PCOS equivalent.
(Pol J Endocrinol 2011; 62 (2): 129–133)

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