Metformin improved health-related quality of life in ethnic Chinese women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Pei Chi Chen, Meng Hsing Wu, Chung-Ying Lin

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� 2016 The Author(s). Background: Few studies have assessed whether the amelioration of the clinical signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) achieved by treatment leads to improvement in the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients. This study was aimed to examine the HRQoL of ethnic Chinese women with PCOS who received metformin treatment. Methods: This prospective study was conducted at a medical center in Taiwan. Study participants aged 18-45 years were diagnosed as having PCOS according to the Rotterdam criteria, and all received metformin treatment. Their HRQoL was assessed using generic (WHOQOL-Bref) and PCOS-specific (Chi-PCOSQ) instruments. Mixed effect models were used to examine the effects of metformin on repeatedly measured HRQoL. Additional analyses using stratified patients characteristics (overweight vs. normal; hyperandrogenism vs. non-hyperandrogenism) were done. Results: We recruited 109 participants (56 % were overweight, 80 % had hyperandrogenism). Among the domain scores of WHOQOL-Bref, the psychological domain score was the lowest one (12.64�2.2, range 4-20). Weight (3.25�1.59, range 1-7) and infertility (3.38�1.93, range 1-7) domain scores were relatively low among the domain scores of Chi-PCOSQ. Overweight and hyperandrogenic patients had significantly lower HRQoL as compared with those of normal weight and non-hyperandrogenic patients, respectively. Metformin significantly improved the physical domain of WHOQOL-Bref (p=0.01), and the infertility (p=0.043) and acne and hair loss aspects (p=0.008) of PCOS-specific HRQoL. In the subgroup analysis, significantly improved HRQoL following metformin treatment appeared for only overweight and hyperandrogenism subgroups. Conclusions: Metformin might improve health-related quality of life of polycystic ovary syndrome women by ameliorating psychological disturbances due to acne, hair loss and infertility problems, especially for overweight and hyperandrogenic patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016


  • Chinese
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • Metformin
  • Overweight
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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