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Title: Metformin improved health-related quality of life in ethnic Chinese women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Authors: Ou, HT
Chen, PC
Wu, MH
Lin, C 
Keywords: Chinese
Health-related quality of life
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: BioMed Central
Source: Health and quality of life outcomes, 2016, v. 14, no. 1, 119 How to cite?
Journal: Health and quality of life outcomes 
Abstract: 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.
EISSN: 1477-7525
DOI: 10.1186/s12955-016-0520-9
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
The following article: Ou, H. T., Chen, P. C., Wu, M. H., & Lin, C. Y. (2016). Metformin improved health-related quality of life in ethnic Chinese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Health and quality of life outcomes, 14(1), 119, is available at https//
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