"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Women with PCOS are at higher risk of suicide attempts

February 6, 2024 – Women with PCOS syndrome (PCOS) could also be as much as eight times more more likely to attempt suicide than people without the disorder, in keeping with a brand new study published Monday within the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The findings highlight the importance of mental health screening for all patients who can have PCOS, the researchers concluded.

“If we can detect such conditions earlier in our clinical practice, we can reduce the subsequent risk and dire consequences,” said Mu-Hong Chen, MD, PhD, attending psychiatrist within the Department of Psychiatry at Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan. a co-author of the study.

PCOS affects as much as 15% of ladies of childbearing age within the United States, or about 6 million people. The disease is related to an increased risk of metabolic disorders resembling diabetes Metabolic syndromeand cardiovascular problems resembling hypertension and stroke. The disorder is related to infertility, weight gain, Hirsutismand skin changes. Evidence shows it too that these changes can result in poorer self-image and mental illnesses resembling depression and anxiety.

Chen and his co-authors compared the records of nearly 19,000 women ages 12 to 64 who had a PCOS diagnosis with a matched control group of 189,600 women and girls without PCOS, using data from 1997 to 2012 Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Cohorts were matched on age, income, level of urbanization, and mental health status.

The researchers found that girls diagnosed with PCOS were 8.47 times more more likely to attempt suicide than women without PCOS over the 16-year follow-up period. Older women with PCOS had a rather lower risk in comparison with young women, but the danger was higher in comparison with older women without PCOS. Studies in other countries have shown similar results.

According to Ricardo Azziz, MD, MPH, professor within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Medicine on the University of California, the study likely underreported the number of ladies with PCOS, and the ladies included likely had more severe cases Alabama in Birmingham.

The findings “suggest that women with PCOS actually have higher rates of mental health disorders and that physicians, patients themselves and their families need to be aware of these risks,” said Azziz, who can also be former CEO of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Doctors should ask their patients with PCOS about suicide risk and mental health, Azziz said.

“It is not uncommon in clinical practice for us to see patients who are severely depressed, and we need to ask the right questions,” he said.

Although he knew of few patients with PCOS who had attempted suicide, he said doctors must be prepared to refer these patients to a different skilled who can address mental health issues in the event that they show signs of distress.

“By simply asking patients and inviting patients to talk about it, doctors can identify patients who may need to be referred,” Azziz said.