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Adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours improves outcomes in PCOS

19 Apr 2020

Lifestyle modification interventions, such as eating healthy and engaging in physical activity, confer benefits for ovarian dysmorphology, hyperandrogenism and menstrual irregularity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a recent study reports.

Sixty-one PCOS patients were randomly assigned to 16-week interventions that involved a pulse‐based diet (lentils, beans, split peas and chickpeas; n=30) or Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet (TLC; n=31) without energy restriction. All participants performed aerobic exercise (minimum of 5 days/week; 45 minutes/day) and received health counselling monthly.

Both groups demonstrated significant improvements over time in the following outcomes: follicle numbers per ovary (FNPO; 2–9 mm; mean change, −10), ovarian volume (OV; mean change, −2.7 mL), free androgen index (FAI; mean change, −3) and menstrual cycle length (mean change, −13 days; p<0.01 for all), without group‐by‐time interactions (p≥0.13).

Overall attrition rate was 33.7 percent and did not significantly differ between the two groups (p=0.94). Adherence to diet intervention was inversely associated with changes in FNPO (r, −0.54), OV (r, −0.35) and FAI (r, −0.29) in pooled groups (p≤0.04).

The improvements observed in OV, FNPO, FAI and menstrual cycles in both groups persisted at month 6 postintervention. However, reduced FNPO and FAI at 16 weeks tended to revert to baseline levels at month 12 postintervention in both groups (p≤0.05).

The present data underscore a need for longitudinal surveillance for sustainable adherence to newly adopted healthy lifestyle behaviours and reproductive health in PCOS, the researchers said.

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