Effect of pharmacological interventions on lipid profiles and C-reactive protein in polycystic ovary syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Mohammed A. Abdalla, Najeeb Shah, Harshal Deshmukh, Amirhossein Sahebkar, Linda Östlundh, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Stephen L. Atkin, Thozhukat Sathyapalan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a heterogeneous condition affecting women of reproductive age. It is associated with dyslipidaemia and elevated plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), which increase the risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Objective: To review the existing evidence on the effects of different pharmacological interventions on lipid profiles and CRP of women with PCOS. Data Sources: We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science in April 2020 and updated the results in March 2021. Study Selection: The study included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and follows the 2020 Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Data Extraction: Two independent researchers extracted data and assessed for risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Covidence systematic review software were used for blinded screening and study selection. Data Synthesis: In 29 RCTs, there were significant reductions in triglycerides with atorvastatin versus placebo [mean difference (MD): −0.21 mmol/L; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.39, −0.03, I2 = 0%, moderate grade evidence]. Significant reductions were seen for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) with metformin versus placebo [standardized mean difference (SMD): −0.41; 95% CI: −0.85, 0.02, I2 = 59%, low grade evidence]. Significant reductions were also seen for total cholesterol with saxagliptin versus metformin (MD: −0.15 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.23, −0.08, I2 = 0%, very low grade evidence). Significant reductions in C-reactive protein (CRP) were seen for atorvastatin versus placebo (MD: −1.51 mmol/L; 95% CI: −3.26 to 0.24, I2 = 75%, very low-grade evidence). Conclusion: There were significant reductions in the lipid parameters when metformin, atorvastatin, saxagliptin, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone were compared with placebo or other agents. There was also a significant reduction of CRP with atorvastatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-459
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • HDL
  • LDL
  • pharmacological therapy
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • therapeutic agents
  • total cholesterol
  • triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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