Background Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with insulin resistance (IR) and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. IR is recognized as a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, few studies have investigated IR in women with PCOS and normal glucose tolerance. The objective of this study was to evaluate IR and β-cell function in women with PCOS and normal glucose tolerance. Additionally, we sought to evaluate the usefulness of oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)-derived IR indices in lean women with PCOS. Methods We recruited 100 women with PCOS and normal glucose tolerance and 100 age- and BMImatched women as controls. IR and insulin secretory indices, including the homeostasismodel assessment (HOMA)-IR, HOMA-M120, HOMA-F and the Stumvoll index, were calculated from an OGTT. Increased β-cell function was defined as >75th percentile for the HOMA-F in control women. Results Women with PCOS had higher values for post-load 2-hour glucose, fasting insulin, postload 2-hour insulin, HOMA-IR, HOMA-M120, HOMA-F and lower values for the Stumvoll index than the controls (all Ps<0.05). Women with PCOS and increased β-cell function showed lower Stumvoll index values than the matched controls (P<0.05). The HOMA-F was significantly associated with the HOMA-M120 and Stumvoll index when adjusted for age and BMI in a multiple regression analysis (all Ps<0.05). The HOMA-M120 was positively correlated with triglycerides and free testosterone, and the Stumvoll index was negatively correlated with triglycerides and free testosterone in lean women with PCOS (all Ps<0.05). Conclusions Women with PCOS and normal glucose tolerance showed higher IR than controls matched for age, BMI, and β-cell function. β-cell function was increased in women with PCOS when compared to the matched controls, but not when the lean subjects were compared to the matched controls separately. Therefore, early evaluation of IR in women with PCOS and normal glucose tolerance may be needed.
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