Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be at high risk for mental health problems, study finds. Also, their children are more likely to have autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A new British study establishes the connection between PCOS and mental health issues, but cause and effect is not yet proven. Study author Dr. Aled Rees, with the Neurosciences and Mental Health Research Institute at Cardiff University in Wales said;
“PCOS is one of the most common conditions affecting young women today, and the effect on mental health is still underappreciated.”
The discoveries suggest that women with PCOS should be screened for mental health disorders.
It affects 7 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age.
The research team examined data from nearly 17,000 women in the United Kingdom with PCOS. The study discovered that these women with PCOS were more likely to be diagnosed with conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and eating disorders than women without PCOS.
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According to the study, children of mothers with PCOS were found to be at higher risk of developing ADHD and autism than other children.
The study was published online April 10 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Rees noted that further study is required to confirm the discoveries, since the investigators only found an association between PCOS and mental health issues.
In a journal news release, Rees said;
“This is one of the largest studies to have examined the adverse mental health and neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with PCOS, and we hope the results will lead to increased awareness, earlier detection and new treatments.”
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