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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-125

Present status of understanding on the genetic etiology of polycystic ovary syndrome

Molecular Anthropology Group, Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Habsiguda, Hyderabad - 500 007, India

Correspondence Address:
B Mohan Reddy
Molecular Anthropology Group, Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Habsiguda, Hyderabad - 500 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.40778

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age with a prevalence of approximately 7-10% worldwide. PCOS reflects multiple potential aetiologies and variable clinical manifestations. This syndrome is characterized by serious health implications such as diabetes, coronary heart diseases and cancer and also leads to infertility. PCOS can be viewed as a heterogeneous androgen excess disorder with varying degrees of reproductive and metabolic abnormalities determined by the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. In this paper, we have attempted a comprehensive review of primarily molecular genetic studies done so far on PCOS. We have also covered the studies focusing on the environmental factors and impact of ethnicity on the presentation of this syndrome. A large number of studies have been attempted to understand the aetiological mechanisms behind PCOS both at the clinical and molecular genetic levels. In the Indian context, majority of the PCOS studies have been confined to the clinical dimensions. However, a concrete genetic mechanism behind the manifestation of PCOS is yet to be ascertained. Understanding of this complex disorder requires comprehensive studies incorporating relatively larger homogenous samples for genetic analysis and taking into account the ethnicity and the environmental conditions of the population/cohort under study. Research focused on these aspects may provide better understanding on the genetic etiology and the interaction between genes and environment, which may help develop new treatment methods and possible prevention of the syndrome.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
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