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Identifying etiological risk factors is significant for preventing and treating patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Through genetic variation, Mendelian randomization (MR) assesses causal associations between PCOS risk and related exposure factors. This emerging technology has provided evidence of causal associations of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, menopause age, adiposity, insulin resistance (IR), depression, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and forced vital capacity (FVC) with PCOS, while lacking associations of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, anxiety disorder (AD), schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BIP), and offspring birth weight with PCOS. In this review, we briefly introduce the concept and methodology of MR in terms of the opportunities and challenges in this field based on recent results obtained from MR analyses involving PCOS.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Genet

Publication Date



Mendelian randomization, genetic variant, polycystic ovary syndrome, single nucleotide polymorphism