Weight loss research study at Hull York Medical School recruiting participants with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

1 February 2018

Maria Papageorgiou, advanced research dietitian at Hull York Medical School, is recruiting participants for the new research study

A new research project at Hull York Medical School focusing on weight management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is recruiting participants to trial the effects of different diets.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common hormone condition in women of reproductive age, affecting up to 20 per cent women in this age group both globally and in the UK.

Obesity is one of the traits associated with the condition along with hirsutism (unwanted hair), oligmenorrhoea (infrequent periods), reduced fertility and increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in women with PCOS.

Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Professor of Endocrinology at Hull York Medical School, said:

"Several studies have reported that around 30-80% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, with obesity often being associated with worsening symptoms and long term health effects.

"Diet and lifestyle changes to promote weight loss among obese women with PCOS can improve many aspects of the condition including fertility and the development of type 2 diabetes, although the effect of one particular weight loss diet remains largely unexplored."

The study will explore the effects of two different diets: a very low-calorie diet (800 calories per day for the first eight weeks) and what is described as an energy deficit diet (current daily energy requirements minus 600kcal/d to induce weight loss) for 16 weeks.

Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School, said:

"We are committed to driving improvements in healthcare – and we anticipate that this study will offer important insights into our understanding of the effects of weight loss for those with polycystic ovary syndrome.

"It will build on the high-calibre research into a diverse range of health issues such as cancer and palliative care, diabetes, dementia and maternal health which is in already in progress at the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School."

Maria Papageorgiou, advanced research dietitian at Hull York Medical School and the investigator for the study, said:

"It is highly likely that participants will lose a significant amount of weight during the trial, possibly up to 20 kg. Losing even 5-10% of body weight can result in great improvements in a participant’s condition.

"We hope that those women who have been diagnosed with the condition will consider taking part in order to help us advance the treatment and care of those with PCOS."

Serina De Gannes, who is taking part in ongoing research, said:

"I have experienced better eating habits and at times a reduction in PCOS symptoms. Losing weight is one way to eliminate or reduce PCOS symptoms so I think women with PCOS should consider taking part in a study like this. It's important for us to understand the condition more.

Other benefits include:

  • Close health monitoring and interaction with health care professionals
  • Dietetic and psychological support
  • Travel reimbursement

Participation in the study involves:

  • Compliance with the experimental diets
  • Filling out questionnaires
  • Body composition and bone measurements
  • Assessing health of blood vessels
  • Blood samples

In order to be eligible for the study, women diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome must be aged 18-45, have a BMI: 30-45 kg/m2 and a desire to lose weight. For more specific details regarding eligibility criteria please contact:

Prof T Sathyapalan
Chair and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist
Academic Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
01482 675312

Dr Maria Papageorgiou
Advanced Research Dietitian
Academic Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
01482 675329

To find out more about our health campus and research, please visit the University of Hull website.