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Women with PCOS are prone to sleep disorder leading to risk of anxiety and depression

Washington, DC- Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been shown to be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which has been linked to depression and anxiety within the general population. That finding comes from researchers from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, who gave women diagnosed with PCOS and being treated at their clinic from 2017 to 2020 a questionnaire to assess for OSA, depression, and anxiety symptoms.  

A total of 196 women at a mean age of 28 with PCOS were included, of which 38% screened high-risk for OSA. The high-risk OSA group had a higher mean score as compared to the low-risk OSA group. Women in the high-risk OSA group had increased odds of moderate or severe depression and anxiety. Based on this study, researchers recommend that routine OSA screening in women with PCOS be undertaken, particularly in the setting of existing depression and anxiety.   

“The cause of PCOS is still not well understood, but we do know that 1 in 10 women in their childbearing years suffer from PCOS. In addition to infertility, PCOS is also associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications such as hypertension and abnormal blood lipids. This recent study suggests that diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea may have added psychological benefits for women with PCOS and highlights the broad health implications of this condition.” Said Marla Lujan, PhD, Chair of the Androgen Excess SIG. 


For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL. www.asrm.org

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