Lifestyle modification programs in polycystic ovary syndrome: Systematic review and meta-Analysis

Juan Pablo Domecq, Gabriela Prutsky, Rebecca J. Mullan, Ahmad Hazem, Vishnu Sundaresh, Mohammed B. Elamin, Olivia J. Phung, Amy Wang, Kathleen Hoeger, Renato Pasquali, Patricia Erwin, Amy Bodde, Victor M. Montori, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Context: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent disorder that affects women of childbearing age and may be related to obesity and insulin resistance. Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to appraise the evidence of the impact of lifestyle modification (LSM) interventions on outcomes of women with PCOS.Data Sources: Sources included Ovid Medline, OVID Embase, OVID Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, PsycINFO, and CINAHL (up to January 2011). Study Selection: We included randomized controlled trials that enrolled woman of any age with PCOS who received LSM and compared them against women who received no intervention, minimal intervention, or metformin. Data Extraction: Two authors performed the data extraction independently. Data Synthesis: We included 9 trials enrolling 583 women with a high loss to follow-up rate, lack of blinding, and short follow-up. Compared with minimal intervention, LSM significantly reduced fasting blood glucose (weighted mean difference, -2.3 μg/dL; 95% confidence interval, -4.5 to -0.1, I2 = 72%, P = .04) and fasting blood insulin (weighted mean difference, -2.1 -U/mL, 95% confidence interval, -3.3 to -1.0, I2 = 0%, P < .001). Changes in body mass index were associated with changes in fasting blood glucose (P<001). Metformin was not significantly better than LSM in improving blood glucose or insulin levels. We found no significant effect of LSM on pregnancy rate, and the effect on hirsutism was unclear. Conclusions: The available evidence suggests that LSM reduces fasting blood glucose and insulin levels in women with PCOS. Metformin has similar effects. Translation of these short-term effects to patient-important outcomes, beyond diabetes prevention, remains uncertain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4655-4663
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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