WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at age 46 years report increased morbidity and medication use, irrespective of body mass index, compared with women without PCOS, according to a study published online June 8 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Linda Kujanpää, from the University of Oulu in Finland, and colleagues examined comorbidities, medication use, and health care service use among 246 women reporting oligo/amenorrhea and hirsutism at age 31 years and/or a PCOS diagnosis by age 46 years and 1,573 controls without symptoms or diagnosis of PCOS (non-PCOS women).

The researchers found that compared with non-PCOS women, women with PCOS had a significantly increased risk for overall morbidity and medication use (risk ratios, 1.35 and 1.27, respectively); after adjustment for body mass index, the risk persisted. Women with PCOS had an increased prevalence of diagnoses of migraine, hypertension, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, and endometriosis. In addition, autoimmune diseases and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections and symptoms were associated with PCOS. After adjustment for body mass index, there was no difference observed between the groups in health care service use.

“We show PCOS associating with an increased risk for several diseases and symptoms, some of them linked, for the first time, to PCOS,” the authors write. “Some of the differences in disease risk, and especially medication use, were driven by high BMI, indicating that PCOS, per se, may not always be the main cause for some of the comorbidities.”

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