Lipid profile in nonobese pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A prospective controlled clinical study

Stefano Palomba, Angela Falbo, Giuseppe Chiossi, Giovanna Muscogiuri, Eleonora Fornaciari, Francesco Orio, Achille Tolino, Annamaria Colao, Giovanni Battista La Sala, Fulvio Zullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Alterations in lipid pattern and increased risk for obstetric/neonatal complications have been observed in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Pregnancy leads to physiologic changes in lipoprotein metabolism, and alterations in lipid profile have been related with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Based on these considerations, the aim of the present prospective controlled clinical study was to test the hypothesis that the changes in the lipid profile in patients with PCOS during pregnancy are characteristic and potentially related to the increased risk of obstetric/neonatal complications. One hundred and fifty nonobese PCOS women and 150 age- and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy controls were enrolled. Serum lipids, glucose, insulin, and androgens levels were serially assayed in all subjects before and throughout pregnancy. Serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride (TG) concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in PCOS group than in healthy controls at each assessment. Throughout pregnancy, serum LDL and TG levels increased significantly (P < 0.05) in both groups, although the change from pre-pregnancy values was significantly (P < 0.05) greater in PCOS patients than in healthy controls. A significant (P < 0.05) relationship was observed between serum LDL and TG changes and changes in both insulin sensitivity indexes and androgen levels in PCOS patients alone. After adjusting for maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI and lipid levels, body weight gain, and insulin-resistance markers, serum TG concentrations during pregnancy were directly and independently associated with obstetric complications in both groups, whereas serum LDL levels only in PCOS patients. We can conclude that nonobese PCOS patients had specific changes in lipid profile during pregnancy, and that the lipid pattern typical of PCOS may account for the more frequent adverse pregnancy outcomes. PCOS-related hormonal and metabolic features, such as insulin resistance and high androgen levels, may mediate this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgens
  • Insulin-resistance
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • PCOS
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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