28 Jan PCOS Linked To Increased Hospitalizations, Infertility, Diabetes and Obesity
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Roger Hart MD FRANZCOG MRCOG CREI
Winthrop Professor of Reproductive MedicineSchool of Women’s and Infants Health
Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia Perth Western Australia 6008
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Hart: PCOS is a very common condition affecting approximately 1 in 12 women and has an estimated annual impact upon the health system in the USA of up to $4.36 billion per year. PCOS is a condition that often manifests itself early in girls life with menstrual problems in adolescence and may lead to reduced fertility in later life due to problems with ovulation. Previous studies have suggested that women with this condition may have other problems in later life, however they have generally been small studies over a short duration. We studied women from 15 years of age, who were admitted to a hospital in Western Australia where a diagnosis of PCOS was recorded on admission. We compared them to women who did not have a PCOS diagnosis recorded on admission using our state-wide hospital database system data linkage.
The medical records of 2,566 women with a PCOS diagnosis were followed from 1980 onwards until an average of almost 36 years, and these women were matched to 25,660 women without PCOS.
Women with PCOS on average had twice as many hospital admissions and unfortunately were twice as likely to die during the study period.
As expected women with PCOS women had a higher rate of menstrual problems and infertility, and require IVF treatment, have a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, and ultimately require surgical intervention for heavy periods and a hysterectomy.
In pregnancy women with PCOS were more likely to deliver preterm or have a stillbirth.
In addition women with PCOS were four times more likely to develop late onset diabetes, even after taking into consideration obesity. These women wore more likely to have problems with blood pressure and ischemic heart disease, despite being relatively young. They were more likely to develop a deep vein thrombosis and have a diagnosis of asthma.
With regard to mental health women with PCOS were twice as likely to have a diagnosis of stress and anxiety and depression. They were more likely to be a victim of self-harm and be involved with a land transport accidents.
With regard to cancer; cervical cancer was diagnosed less frequently in women with PCOS, but they had an increased risk of cancer of the womb. The incidence of breast and skin cancers was no different between the groups.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Hart: It is essential that clinicians direct women with PCOS along a healthy lifestyle path. These women are often unfortunately more prone to put weight on than their peers, so they must be determined to eat well and exercise regularly and take their health seriously.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Hart: We are currently looking at the data of the pregnancy outcomes for these women who conceived and looking into the health of their offspring and this is work in progress.