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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 317241, 7 pages
Review Article

Obesity Differentially Affects Phenotypes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

1Direction of Health Research and Training, Medical Unit of High Specialty, Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital No. 4 Luis Castelazo Ayala, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Mexico City, DF 01090, Mexico
2Health Research Council, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Mexico City, DF 06725, Mexico
3General Hospital of Zone No. 8, Mexican Institute of Social Security, Mexico City, DF 01090, Mexico

Received 29 September 2011; Revised 13 February 2012; Accepted 17 April 2012

Academic Editor: Faustino R. Pérez-López

Copyright © 2012 Carlos Moran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity or overweight affect most of patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Phenotypes are the clinical characteristics produced by the interaction of heredity and environment in a disease or syndrome. Phenotypes of PCOS have been described on the presence of clinical hyperandrogenism, oligoovulation and polycystic ovaries. The insulin resistance is present in the majority of patients with obesity and/or PCOS and it is more frequent and of greater magnitude in obese than in non obese PCOS patients. Levels of sexual hormone binding globulin are decreased, and levels of free androgens are increased in obese PCOS patients. Weight loss treatment is important for overweight or obese PCOS patients, but not necessary for normal weight PCOS patients, who only need to avoid increasing their body weight. Obesity decreases or delays several infertility treatments. The differences in the hormonal and metabolic profile, as well as the different focus and response to treatment between obese and non obese PCOS patients suggest that obesity has to be considered as a characteristic for classification of PCOS phenotypes.