A new study has revealed that women who are diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) might be at an elevated risk for suicide. The findings show that women suffering from PCOS are at 8.47-times greater risk for attempting suicide as compared to women who are not diagnosed with the condition. PCOS is a frequent health issue that roughly affects nearly one in 10 women and in most cases the condition remains undiagnosed. PCOS can lead to obesity, irregular periods, acne, and cysts in the ovaries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized PCOS as a top reason for infertility.
Experts from Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan have assessed 8960 women and girls in the age range of 12 to 64 years suffering from PCOS from 1997 to 2012. None of the participants had any history of suicide attempts. After considering factors such as demographics, psychiatric issues and other health issues, the findings have revealed that adolescent girls have been at 5.38 times greater risk for attempting suicide, adult women below 40 years are at 9.15 times higher risk and older women above 40 years are at 3.75 times greater risk for attempting suicide.
The authors of the study say that factors such as probable infertility and concerns over body image attached to PCOS might be contributing to the increased risk for suicide attempt among affected adolescent women. They say young women might face added challenges like financial troubles, unemployment, and relationship issues. The team says that the reduction in elevated risk among older women might be associated with an improvement in the symptoms of PCOS due to age. Other health experts who have not been involved in the study have said that any other studies in the past have found that women with PCOS are at an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation. They say that women with PCOS are more prone to develop anxiety and depression. The authors of the study have said that women dealing with PCOS and its complication should seek help from their healthcare providers to manage the condition more effectively.