10 January 2018

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


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 (PCOS) 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 to 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 induce weight loss in obese women with PCOS can have beneficial effects on many aspects of the condition including fertility and development of type 2 diabetes, although the efficacy or superiority of one particular weight loss diet remains largely unexplored.”

The study will explore the effects of two different diets: a very low-calorie diet (800calories/day for the first 8 weeks) and what is termed 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 to healthcare for the benefit of our local community – 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 make advances in the treatment and care of those with PCOS.”

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 also need to be aged 18-45, have a BMI: 30-45 kg/m2 and wish 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

Tel: 01482 675312

Email: Thozhukat.Sathyapalan@hyms.ac.uk


Dr Maria Papageorgiou

Advanced Research Dietitian

Academic Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism

Telephone number: 01482 675329

Email: M.Papageorgiou@hull.ac.uk