Study Reveals Increased Risk of Suicide Among Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


A recent study has found that patients diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) face a significantly higher risk of suicide. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sheds light on the mental health implications of PCOS, a common endocrine disorder affecting millions of women worldwide.

Led by Dr. Tien-Wei Hsu from E-DA Dachang Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the researchers conducted a cohort study using data from the Taiwanese nationwide database spanning a 15-year period. They identified 18,960 patients diagnosed with PCOS and matched them with controls in a 1:10 ratio based on age, psychiatric comorbid conditions, urbanization level, and income.

After adjusting for various factors such as demographic characteristics, psychiatric comorbid conditions, Charlson Comorbidity Index scores, and frequency of clinical visits, the researchers found that patients with PCOS had a significantly higher risk of suicide attempts compared to the control group. The hazard ratio was calculated to be 8.47, indicating a substantially elevated risk for suicide.

Further analysis revealed that the increased risk was consistent across different age groups. Adolescents, young adults under 40 years, and older adults all faced elevated risks, with hazard ratios of 5.38, 9.15, and 3.75, respectively. The researchers also conducted sensitivity analyses, excluding data from the first one or three years of observation, and found that the results remained consistent.

The findings of this study highlight the importance of closely monitoring the mental well-being and suicide risk of patients with PCOS. The authors stress the need for heightened vigilance among clinicians, as well as increased awareness and destigmatization of PCOS within the general community and among girls and women.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries and often presents with symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, and cysts in the ovaries. Beyond the physical manifestations, the study suggests that PCOS can have a profound impact on mental health, underscoring the need for a comprehensive approach to its management.

The researchers believe that hormonal imbalances and metabolic abnormalities associated with PCOS could contribute to the increased risk of suicide. Additionally, the psychosocial stressors resulting from PCOS symptoms and the challenges of managing the disorder may also play a role in the elevated suicide risk.

While this study provides valuable insights into the mental health implications of PCOS, there is still much to be explored in this field. Further research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms linking PCOS with increased suicide risk and to develop targeted interventions to support the mental well-being of individuals with the condition.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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