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Clinical Endocrinology

Exercise training improves autonomic function and inflammatory pattern in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Authors

  • Francesco Giallauria,

    1. Department of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences. Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Stefano Palomba,

    1. Department of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences. Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Luigi Maresca,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy,
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  • Laura Vuolo,

    1. Department of Clinical Medicine, Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences. Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Domenico Tafuri,

    1. Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Gaetano Lombardi,

    1. Teaching and Methods of Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Exercise Sciences, Parthenope University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Annamaria Colao,

    1. Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Carlo Vigorito,

    1. Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
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  • Francesco Orio

    1. Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy,
    2. Endocrinology, Faculty of Exercise Sciences, Parthenope University of Naples, Naples, Italy
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Francesco Orio, University Federico II of Naples, Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology and Oncology, Via S. Pansini, 5 Naples 80131, Italy, Tel.: +39 3386759977; Fax: +39 089797767; E-mail: francescoorio@virgilio.it

Summary

Background  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common female reproductive-age endocrine disease predominantly characterized by chronic anovulation, hyperandrogenism, insulin-resistance and low-grade inflammatory status. Exercise training (ET) favourably modulates cardiopulmonary function and insulin-sensitivity markers in PCOS women. The present study investigated the effects of ET on autonomic function and inflammatory pattern in PCOS women.

Study design  Prospective baseline uncontrolled clinical study.

Methods  One-hundred and eighty five PCOS women referred to our department were screened for the inclusion into the study protocol from March 2004 to July 2007. One-hundred and twenty four PCOS women met the criteria for the inclusion into the study protocol and were subdivided into two groups each composed of 62 patients: PCOS-T (trained) group underwent 3-month ET program, whereas PCOS-UnT (untrained) group did not. At baseline and at 3-month follow-up, hormonal and metabolic profile, cardiopulmonary parameters, autonomic function (as expressed by heart rate recovery, HRR) and inflammatory pattern [as expressed by C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cells (WBCs) count] were evaluated.

Results  PCOS-T showed a significant (P < 0·05) improvement in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and in post-exercise HRR, and a significant (P < 0·001) decrease in CRP and WBCs; whereas no statistically significant changes of the same parameters were observed in PCOS-UnT. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that 3-month HRR is linearly related to the inclusion in training group (β = 0·316, P < 0·001), VO2max (β = 0·151, P = 0·032) and the ratio between glucose and insulin area under curve (AUC) (β = 0·207, P = 0·003), and inversely related to body mass index (β = –0·146, P = 0·046), insulin AUC (β = –0·152, P = 0·032), CRP (β = –0·165, P < 0·021), and WBCs count (β = –0·175, P = 0·039).

Conclusions  Exercise training improves autonomic function and inflammatory pattern in PCOS women.

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