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The aetiology of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is complex and multifactorial. There is much evidence, however, to suggest that adipose tissue plays an important role in the development and maintenance of PCOS pathology. There is a close correlation between adiposity and symptom severity in women with PCOS, and even modest reductions in weight generally translate into significant improvements in menstrual regularity, fertility and hyperandrogenic features. This review article considers the various mechanisms that might underlie this link between excess adiposity and PCOS - including the effects of differential insulin sensitivity, abnormal steroid hormone metabolism and adipocytokine secretion. Greater attention to the therapeutic options available to reduce the impact of excess adiposity on ovarian and metabolic function is essential to the management of PCOS.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)

Publication Date





137 - 145


Adipocytes, Adult, Androgens, Appetite Regulation, Cytokines, Estrogens, Female, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Lipid Metabolism, Obesity, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome