Polycystic ovary syndrome: A biopsychosocial understanding in young women to improve knowledge and treatment options

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AIM: To assess psychological features in young women with and without PCOS. METHODS: Observational, cross-sectional pilot study in young women aged 18-25 with (n = 24) or without (n = 22) PCOS (age: 22.41 +/- 0.39 vs. 21.95 +/- 0.47 years, p = 0.46; BMI: 29.17 +/- 1.54 vs. 22.05 +/- 0.83 kg/m(2), p = 0.0003). The main outcome measures were quality of life, anxiety, depression, risk perception and fears on future health. RESULTS: Women with PCOS demonstrated worsened quality of life (p = 0.033) and greater anxiety (p = 0.01) and depression (p = 0.023) than women without PCOS related to BMI status. Women with PCOS were more likely to perceive themselves as at risk of obesity (p = 0.012) and infertility (p <0.0001), and perceived greater importance in reducing future risk of prediabetes (p = 0.027), gestational diabetes (p = 0.039), type 2 diabetes (p = 0.01), heart disease (p = 0.005), obesity (p = 0.0007) and infertility (p = 0.023) than women without PCOS. Women with PCOS were more likely to have fears about future health related to weight gain (p = 0.045), loss of femininity (p = 0.035), loss of sexuality (p = 0.003) and infertility (p = 0.019) than women without PCOS. CONCLUSIONS: Worsened quality of life, anxiety and depression in young women with PCOS is related to BMI. Risk perception is appropriately high in PCOS, yet perceived risks of future metabolic complications are less common than those related to weight gain and infertility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24 - 31
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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