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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Associated with Higher Mortality Risk, According to New Research


ENDO 2023. Women with PCOS face an increased risk of mortality, particularly death due to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, compared with those without PCOS.



Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) face an increased risk of mortality, particularly death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, compared with women without PCOS, according to a new study presented at ENDO 2023, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.

“Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are burdened with multimorbidity, but there is only limited knowledge on mortality. Here, we investigated in a register-based 1:3 matched case-control study, whether women with PCOS have increased all-cause, or cause-specific mortality compared to women without PCOS,” wrote presenting author Meri-Maija Ollila, MD, PhD, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Research Center Oulu, PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland, and colleagues.

Ollila and colleagues 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, according to the abstract.


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).

“In conclusion, PCOS is a severe lifelong syndrome that increases mortality,” wrote Ollila et al. “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.”

Reference: Ollila MM, Arffman RK, Morin-Papunen L, et al. Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with an increased mortality risk. Abstract presented at ENDO 2023; Chicago, Il; June 15-18, 2023.

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