Indian women with polycystic ovary syndrome were nearly eight times more likely to test positive for serum antinuclear antibody vs. healthy controls, suggesting that autoimmunity may play a role in the condition, according to findings published in Gynecological Endocrinology.
“Association of autoimmunity with PCOS has generated curiosity with studies yielding conflicting results,” Aafia Rashid, PhD, of the department of endocrinology at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar, India, and colleagues wrote. “Whether the patients with PCOS are at an increased risk for developing autoimmune disorders is unknown, and several published studies trying to explore the association between PCOS and autoimmunity are conflicting.”
Rashid and colleagues analyzed data from 89 women with PCOS (mean age, 23 years; mean BMI, 24.21 kg/m²) and 87 healthy controls (mean age, 23 years; mean BMI, 21.79 kg/m²) recruited from outpatient clinics of the departments of endocrinology and gynecology at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences. Researchers evaluated serum antinuclear antibody levels, glucose, lipids, and thyroid and reproductive hormones, as well as menstrual and hirsutism history.
Researchers found that 18.4% of women with PCOS tested positive for antinuclear antibody vs. 2.9% of controls (P < .01). Antinuclear antibody status correlated positively with clinical parameters of hyperandrogenism, including acne vulgaris and Ferriman-Gallwey score, as well as total testosterone level and glucose values before and after undergoing a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test.
“We conclude that the high prevalence of [antinuclear antibody] positivity among Indian women with PCOS may be [an] indicator of autoimmunity as a cause of PCOS,” the researchers wrote. “Evaluation of multiple organ-directed antibodies with long-term follow-up would strengthen our belief of a possible causal relationship between autoimmunity and PCOS.” – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.