Heart rate recovery improves after weight loss in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Rebecca L. Thomson, Jonathan D. Buckley, Manny Noakes, Peter M. Clifton, Robert J. Norman, Grant D. Brinkworth

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Objective: To determine the effects of weight loss on heart rate recovery (HRR) in overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Design: A 10-week prospective clinical intervention. Setting: Clinical research unit. Patient(s): Fifty-seven overweight and obese women with PCOS (age: 29.8 ± 0.8 years; body mass index [BMI] 36.2 ± 0.7 kg/m2). Intervention(s): A dietary plan of 5-6 MJ/day (∼30% energy restricted). Main Outcome Measure(s): Heart rate recovery (defined as the reduction in heart rate after 1 minute from peak heart rate after a graded treadmill test to exhaustion), weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and sex steroids before and after the intervention. Result(s): The mean percentage of weight loss was (-6.7 ± 0.4%). There were significant reductions in waist circumference (-6.9 ± 0.6 cm), blood pressure (-4.9/-2.5 ± 1.2/1.2 mm Hg), fasting insulin (-3.4 ± 0.7 mU/L), fasting glucose (-0.17 ± 0.05 mmol/L), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (-0.43 ± 0.09), T (-0.38 ± 0.07 nmol/L), free androgen index (-2.86 ± 0.58), and an increase in sex hormone-binding globulin [SHBG] (5.86 ± 1.12 nmol/L). The HRR improved from 30.9 ± 1.1 to 38.0 ± 1.1 beats/min and that was related to the reduction in body weight (r = -0.34) and waist circumference (r = -0.27). Conclusion(s): Weight loss in overweight and obese women with PCOS is associated with improvements in HRR, which suggests improved autonomic function. This highlights the importance of weight loss to reduce the cardiovascular disease risk in these women. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1178
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • autonomic function
  • diet
  • exercise
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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