Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; a comprehensive review of clinical interactions and underlying pathophysiology

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Division of Translational and Experimental Medicine, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.
  • Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is associated with multiple co-morbidities including, obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, as well as mood disorders and impaired quality of life (QoL). Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is also a common medical condition that is often undiagnosed, particularly in women. OSA is associated with a similar spectrum of comorbidities to that observed in PCOS, including manifestations of the metabolic syndrome and impaired QoL, whilst obesity frequently constitutes a common denominator in the pathophysiology of both OSA and PCOS. Hence, it is not surprising that OSA and PCOS may co-exist in women of reproductive age, and the current clinical guidelines on the management of PCOS recommend screening for OSA symptoms in overweight/obese women with PCOS. In this review, we examine the relationship between OSA and PCOS and explore the potential underlying mechanisms that link these two conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Early online date22 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jun 2017


  • Polycystic ovary syndrome, Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Hyperandrogenism, OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, PCOS