Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder in women and this chronic low-grade inflammatory state is often associated with various metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorders, and other complications.
Methods: The current study was aimed to assess inflammatory markers including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and complement element 3 (C3) in PCOS subjects and to investigate the association of these inflammatory markers with insulin resistance. One hundred and fifty PCOS subjects and 150 healthy women as control subjects were recruited for the investigation. Serum was used for investigating the routine and specific parameters.
Results: The mean serum hs-CRP was significantly higher (p < 0.0001) in PCOS subjects (10,738 ± 7,658 ng/mL) as compared to the healthy control subjects (1,128 ± 695.92 ng/mL) and mean serum C3 was also highly significant (p < 0.0001) in PCOS subjects (206.86 ± 21.64 mg/dL) as compared to the healthy control subjects (91.84 ± 16.02 mg/dL). Fasting blood sugar, serum insulin, insulin resistance, and BMI were significantly higher (p < 0.0001) as compared to the control subjects. Serum hs-CRP was positively correlated with fasting blood sugar (r = 0.630, p < 0.0001), serum insulin (r = 0.700, p < 0.0001) and insulin resistance (r = 0.694, p < 0.0001) in PCOS. The serum C3 was also positively correlated with fasting blood sugar (r = 0.352, p < 0.0001), serum insulin (r = 0.379, p < 0.0001) and insulin resistance (r = 0.378, p < 0.0001) in PCOS.
Conclusions: A strong association of serum C3 and hs-CRP with serum insulin and insulin resistance in PCOS subjects indicates that these inflammatory markers may serve as the most significant predictor of the risk of future diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular complications in PCOS.