HealthDay News — Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) report low health-related quality of life (HRQoL) beyond the reproductive years, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Salla Karjula, from the University of Oulu in Finland, and colleagues examined generic HRQoL in women with PCOS symptoms at ages 31 and 46 years. Data were included for the 15D QoL measure, life satisfaction, and current health status for women reporting isolated oligomenorrhea (OA), isolated hirsutism (H), OA+H (PCOS), and controls.
The researchers found that compared with controls, women with PCOS or H had lower HRQoL at ages 31 and 46 years. PCOS independently predicted risk for low HRQoL; the reduction in HRQoL seen in PCOS was similar to that of women with other chronic conditions, including asthma, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression. After adjustment for body mass index, hyperandrogenism, and socioeconomic status, the risk for low HRQoL in PCOS remained significant. The strongest contributing factor to HRQoL was mental distress. There was also a correlation for PCOS with risk for low life satisfaction and a fourfold increase in risk for reporting poor health status.
“The importance of screening for the most burdensome factors related to the syndrome, especially mental distress, is emphasized,” the authors write. “The symptoms and worries of women with PCOS should be discussed and treated effectively, favoring a multidisciplinary approach.”