Summary: A comprehensive study involving over 18,000 women has uncovered a startling correlation between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and an increased risk of suicide attempts, with PCOS patients being 8 times more likely to attempt suicide than those without the condition.
The study draws from the Taiwanese nationwide database, spanning from 1997 to 2012, to highlight the urgent need for mental health and suicide risk assessment in women diagnosed with PCOS. This endocrine disorder, affecting up to 10% of women of reproductive age, is associated with various health challenges, including infertility and obesity, which can severely impact quality of life and elevate the risk for several psychiatric conditions.
The findings emphasize the critical importance of integrated healthcare approaches that address both the physical and mental health aspects of PCOS.
Women with PCOS are 8.47 times more likely to attempt suicide compared to those without the disorder.
The study analyzed data from 18,960 women, revealing the significant mental health challenges associated with PCOS, including a higher incidence of depressive and anxiety disorders.
An adolescent subgroup within the study showed a 5.38-fold increased risk for suicide attempts, underscoring the need for early mental health interventions in younger patients with PCOS.
Source: American College of Physicians
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.
Suicide Attempts After a Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Limited evidence exists about suicide risk in persons with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
To assess suicide risk in persons with PCOS, accounting for psychiatric comorbid conditions and age group.
Data from the Taiwanese nationwide database from 1997 to 2012.
A cohort of 18 960 patients diagnosed with PCOS, each matched with control participants in a 1:10 ratio on the basis of age, psychiatric comorbid conditions, urbanization level, and income. Suicide attempts were evaluated using Cox regression models.
Suicide risk with hazard ratios (HRs).
Participants with PCOS had a notable 8.47-fold increase in risk for suicide attempt compared with the control group (HR, 8.47 [95% CI, 7.54 to 9.51]), after adjustment for demographic characteristics, psychiatric comorbid conditions, Charlson Comorbidity Index scores, and frequency of all-cause clinical visits. The elevated risk was evident across the adolescent (HR, 5.38 [CI, 3.93 to 7.37]), young adult (<40 years; HR, 9.15 [CI, 8.03 to 10.42]), and older adult (HR, 3.75 [CI, 2.23 to 6.28]) groups. Sensitivity analyses involving the exclusion of data from the first year or the first 3 years of observation yielded consistent results.
Potential underestimation of PCOS and mental disorder prevalence due to use of administrative claims data; lack of clinical data, such as body mass index and depressive symptoms; and no assessment of a confounding effect of valproic acid exposure.
This study underscores the heightened risk for suicide attempt that persons with PCOS face, even after adjustment for demographics, psychiatric comorbid conditions, physical conditions, and all-cause clinical visits. This suggests the importance of routine monitoring of mental health and suicide risk in persons diagnosed with PCOS.
Primary Funding Source:
Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Yen Tjing Ling Medical Foundation, and Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan.