PCOS linked to higher suicide risk

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were eight times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers without the condition, say Taiwanese researchers. PCOS affects 10% of women during their reproductive years, and can often cause infertility, acne, bad period pain, excess body hair, and obesity, and this research on over 18,000 women adds to the growing research that the condition can have psychiatric repercussions also, say the team. 

Journal/conference: Annals of Internal Medicine

Link to research (DOI): 10.7326/M23-2240

Organisation/s: E-DA Hospital, Taiwan

Funder: Taipei Veterans General
Hospital, Yen Tjing Ling Medical Foundation, and
Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan.

Media release

From: American College of Physicians

Persons diagnosed with PCOS face 8-fold increase in suicide risk

A study of more than 18,000 women found that patients diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) were 8 times more likely to attempt suicide compared with control group. These findings highlight the importance of routine monitoring of mental health and suicide risk in persons diagnosed with PCOS. The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

PCOS is a prevalent endocrine disorder, affecting up 10% of women in their reproductive years. Common attributes associated with PCOS include infertility, acne, dysmenorrhea, hirsutism, and obesity, which can collectively contribute to a decreased quality of life. In addition, a substantial body of evidence indicates that persons diagnosed with PCOS have higher risk for psychiatric conditions, such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorder, and schizoaffective disorder.

Researchers from Taipei Veterans General Hospital studied data from the Taiwanese nationwide database from 1997 to 2012 for 18,960 women diagnosed with PCOS to assess suicide risk, accounting for psychiatric comorbid conditions and age group. They found that persons diagnosed with PCOS faced an 8.47-fold increase in risk for suicide attempt compared with the control group, even after accounting for demographics, psychiatric comorbid conditions, physical conditions, and all-cause clinical visits. An adolescent subgroup had a notable 5.38-fold elevated risk for suicide attempt. The authors note that their findings remained robust when excluding the first year or the first 3 years of observation.


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