Ovarian hyperandrogenism in adolescents and young women with type I diabetes is primarily related to birth weight and body mass index

Carla Bizzarri, Danila Benevento, Lucilla Ravà, Ippolita Patrizia Patera, Riccardo Schiaffini, Paolo Ciampalini, Germana Giannone, Marco Cappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To clarify the effects of insulin therapy on ovarian androgen production, hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in adolescents and young women with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Design: Case-control study. Setting: Children's research hospital. Patient(s): Fifty-four consecutive T1D subjects (age, 15-25 years), without residual endogenous insulin secretion, treated by intensive insulin therapy (multiple injection therapy [MI] or continuous SC insulin infusion [CSII]); and one-hundred fifty age-matched healthy women. Intervention(s): Analysis of the prevalence and risk factors of ovarian hyperandrogenism and PCOS in T1D adolescents and young women. Main Outcome Measure(s): Biometric, glycemic, and metabolic parameters. Evaluation of androgen levels and ovary ultrasound during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Result(s): Androgen levels were significantly higher in T1D subjects than in the control group (T, 68.8 ± 23.4 vs. 46.1 ± 20.8 ng/dL). Four subjects (7.4%) were affected by PCOS according to the Rotterdam criteria. No correlation was evident between HbA1c% and androgen levels. No significant differences were evident between subjects on MI or CSII therapy. Multivariable linear regression analysis showed a direct and independent effect of age and body mass index on T levels. T levels were also negatively affected by birth weight. Conclusion(s): Androgen levels are significantly increased in T1D adolescents and young women treated by intensive insulin therapy. The presence and severity of ovarian hyperandrogenism seem to be primarily related to common risk factors such as age, low birth weight, overweight, and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • birth weight
  • BMI
  • insulin
  • PCOS
  • T1D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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