Context: Daughters of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are thought to be at increased risk for developing stigmata of the syndrome, but the ontogeny during puberty is uncertain. Objective: We phenotyped daughters (n = 76) of mothers with PCOS and daughters (n = 80) from control mothers for reproductive and metabolic parameters characteristic of PCOS. Design, Setting, and Participants: We performed a matched case/control study at Penn State Hershey Medical Center that included non-Hispanic, white girls 4 to 17 years old. Intervention: We obtained birth history, biometric, ovarian ultrasounds, whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan for body composition, 2-hour glucose challenged salivary insulin levels, and two timed urinary collections (12 hours overnight and 3 hours in the morning) for gonadotropins and sex steroids. Main Outcome Measures: We measured integrated urinary levels of adrenal (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) and ovarian [testosterone (TT)] steroids. Other endpoints included integrated salivary insulin levels and urinary luteinizing hormone levels. Results: There were no differences in detection rates or mean levels for gonadotropins and sex steroids in timed urinary collections between PCOS daughters and control daughters, nor were there differences in integrated salivary insulin levels. Results showed that 69% of Tanner 4/5 PCOS daughters vs 31% of control daughters had hirsutism defined as a Ferriman-Gallwey score >8 (P = 0.04). There were no differences in body composition as determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry between groups in the three major body contents (i.e., bone, lean body mass, and fat) or in ovarian volume between groups. Conclusions: Matched for pubertal stage, PCOS daughters have similar levels of urinary androgens and gonadotropins as well as glucose-challenged salivary insulin levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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