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Daily Dose: PCOS Associated with Higher Mortality Risk


Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

On June 19, 2023, we reported on a study presented at ENDO 2023, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.

The study

In a register-based 1:3 matched case-control study, researchers examined whether women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have increased all-cause, or cause-specific mortality compared to women without PCOS. They analyzed data from 9839 women with PCOS and 70 705 controls, matched by year of birth and area of residency, identified through the Finnish Care Register for Health Care from 1969 to 2019 using ICD codes. During follow-up, 1003 controls and 177 women with PCOS died.

The findings

According to investigators, women in the PCOS arm died significantly younger than those in the control group (51.4 years vs 52.9 years; P<.001).

Researchers observed that women with PCOS had an increased overall mortality compared with controls in both an unadjusted (hazard ratio [HR] 1.53, 95% CI 1.28-1.84) and adjusted (HR 1.47, 95% CI 1.23-1.76) analyses.

More specifically, in the unadjusted analysis, women with PCOS had increased mortality due to tumors (HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.06-1.90), endocrine, nutrition, or metabolic diseases (HR 2.45, 95% CI 1.02-5.96), and diseases of the circulatory system (HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.19-2.62).

In the adjusted analysis, participants in the PCOS arm had an increased mortality due to diseases of the circulatory system (aHR 1.67, 95% CI 1.13-2.48) and tumors (aHR 1.38, 95% CI 1.04-1.85). Also, women with PCOS had increased mortality due to diabetes (aHR 3.07, 95% CI 1.16-8.08), other diseases of the circulatory system (aHR 2.07, 95% CI 1-4.25), and bronchitis (aHR 3.61, 95% CI 1.01-12.88).

A note from authors

“More emphasis should be targeted on the prevention and treatment of diabetes, circulatory diseases, tumors, and respiratory diseases in women with PCOS to reduce the mortality risk.”

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