Determinants of Bone Mineral Density in Iranian Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Whether the endocrine aberrations caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) might influence bone density in women of reproductive age is controversial.


The present study aimed to compare PCOS women to a control group matched in terms of age and body mass index (BMI) regarding bone indices and to clarify the potential relationship between their hormonal changes and bone density.


This case-control study consisted of 61 PCOS patients, and 35 women with normal ovulatory function served as controls. Bone parameters, including bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) in addition to T- and Z-scores, were measured at the lumbar vertebrae, neck of the left femur, hip, and distal part of the radial bone, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Blood samples were taken to be tested for biochemical parameters and serum concentrations of insulin, osteocalcin, parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), total testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and estradiol were measured. Insulin resistance was evaluated through the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).


The results revealed greater levels of HOMA-IR and total testosterone in PCOS women than in controls. Nevertheless, the two groups were comparable in terms of bone parameters. In the control group, BMI was the only determinant of bone density at most of the skeletal sites. Nonetheless, BMI and HOMA-IR were independently and positively associated with bone indices at the femoral neck (FN) and total hip in the PCOS group. Parathyroid hormone and vitamin D concentrations were not different in the two groups. However, phosphate levels were higher in PCOS patients (P = 0.025). Osteocalcin was inversely correlated to BMI, and both groups had a negative correlation betweenDHEASand PTH. Serum phosphate was inversely and independently associated with estrogen in the PCOS group (r = -0.377, P = 0.004).


Body mass index and HOMA-IR were independent and positive determinants of FN and total hip bone density in the PCOS subjects. Nonetheless, in the non-PCOS women, BMI was the only independent determinant of bone density at most of the skeletal sites. Additionally, osteocalcin was inversely correlated with BMI in both groups.

International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume:21 Issue: 4, Oct 2023
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