• Polycystic ovary syndrome and the peripheral blood white cell count.

      Herlihy, A C; Kelly, R E; Hogan, J L; O'Connor, N; Farah, N; Turner, M J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      This retrospective cross-sectional study examined if the white cell count (WCC) is increased in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and if so, is it due to PCOS or to the associated obesity? Body mass index (BMI) was calculated and body composition was measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Of the 113 women studied, 36 had PCOS and 77 did not. The mean WCC was higher in the PCOS group compared with the non-PCOS group (8.9 x 10(9)/l vs 7.4 x 10(9)/l p = 0.002). This increase was due to a higher neutrophil count (5.6 x 10(9)/l vs 4.3 x 10(9)/l; p = 0.003). There was a leucocytosis (WCC >11 x 10(9)/l) present in 19% of the PCOS group compared with 1% in the non-PCOS group (p < 0.001). The neutrophil count was abnormally high (>7.7 x 10(9)/l) in 14% of the PCOS group compared with 4% in the non-PCOS group (p < 0.001). On regression analysis, however, the only independent variable which explained both the increased WCC and the increased neutrophil count was PCOS. We found that PCOS is associated with an increased WCC due to increased neutrophils, which supports the evidence that PCOS is associated with low-grade inflammation. The increase appears to be due to the underlying PCOS, and not to the increased adiposity associated with PCOS.