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Effects of acupuncture and exercise on insulin sensitivity, adipose tissue characteristics, and markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial.

Journal article
Authors Elisabet Stener-Victorin
Baghaei F
Göran Holm
Per-Olof Janson
G Olivecrona
Malin Lönn
Louise Mannerås Holm
Published in Fertility and Sterility
Volume 97
Issue 2
Pages 501–508
ISSN 0015-0282
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Pages 501–508
Language en
Keywords polycystic ovary syndrome, exercise, acupuncture, insulin sensitivity, coagulation
Subject categories Physiology, Endocrinology, Reproductive health


Objective: To investigate the possible effects of low-frequency electro-acupuncture (EA) and physical exercise on markers of coagulation and fibrinolysis, insulin sensitivity, and adipose tissue characteristics in women with PCOS. Design: Secondary analyses of a prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial. (identifier NCT00484705) Settings: Department of Physiology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Universtiy of Gothenburg. Patients/Interventions: Eighty-four women with PCOS were randomized to sixteen weeks of low-frequency EA (14 treatments), physical exercise (at least 3 times/week) or no intervention. Main outcome measures: Anthropometrics, circulating coagulation and fibrinolytic markers, insulin sensitivity (euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp), hemodynamics, and adipose tissue morphology/function recorded at baseline, after 16 weeks of intervention, and after a 16 week follow-up. Results: In the low-frequency EA group, circulating plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) activity decreased by 21.8% after 16 weeks of intervention and by 31.1% at the 16 week follow-up and differed from the physical exercise and the no-intervention groups. The EA group had decreases in circulating fibrinogen and t-PA, sagittal diameter, and diastolic blood pressure after treatment, and fibrinogen remained lower at the 16-week follow-up. In the physical exercise group, lipoprotein lipase activity increased and diastolic blood pressure decreased after treatment, and both diastolic and systolic blood pressure were lower at follow-up. No other variables were affected. Conclusions: Low-frequency EA counteracted a possible prothrombotic state in women with PCOS, as reflected by a decrease in PAI-1 activity. Despite within-group improvements, there were no between-group differences in anthropometric, metabolic, or hemodynamic variables after 16 weeks of EA or physical exercise at the dose/intensity studied.

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