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Women with PCOS have greater risk of postpartum depression, preeclampsia, eclampsia



– Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at a higher risk for metabolic and psychiatric comorbidities prior to pregnancy, cardiometabolic complications during pregnancy, and cardiometabolic and psychiatric complications in the postpartum period, according to results from a prize paper at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Anuja Dokras, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Jeff Craven/MDedge News

Dr. Anuja Dokras

“Our findings do support the ACOG [American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] recommendations that women with PCOS should be considered a high-risk group, and during the postpartum period should be screened for cardiovascular as well as psychiatric comorbidities,” Anuja Dokras, MD, PhD, director of the Penn Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, said in her presentation.

Dr. Dokras and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study during 2000-2016 of patients aged 18-50 years, in the Optum claims database, which comprised 42,391 women with PCOS and 795,480 women without PCOS in 50 U.S. states. Women were included in the analysis if there were data available for at least 6 months to 1 year before pregnancy and between 6 weeks and 1 year after pregnancy. The researchers looked at risk factors prior to pregnancy, such as depression, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and use of assisted reproductive technology. During pregnancy, Dr. Dokras and colleagues analyzed complications such as preterm birth, multiple gestation, cesarean section, gestational hypertension and diabetes, preeclampsia and eclampsia, and depression in addition to outcomes in the postpartum period, such as hypertensive complications, thrombotic disease, peripartum cardiomyopathy, heart failure, arterial complications, perinatal and postpartum depression.

“Realizing that PCOS is underreported in administrative data sets, we looked at not only the diagnosis of PCOS but also tried to combine any menstrual irregularity and hirsutism occurring simultaneously, and then doing a sensitivity analysis and looking at the population,” said Dr. Dokras. “Similarly, knowing that misclassification can be an issue in these datasets, we did the same thing amongst the controls, looking for a single diagnosis of irregular menses and hirsutism.”

Prior to pregnancy, women with PCOS in the dataset tended to have a higher rate of obesity (14.7% vs. 4.7%), hyperlipidemia (11.3% vs. 5.3%), hypertension (6.2% vs. 2.5%), diabetes (5.3% vs. 1.2%), and depression (4.3% vs. 3.1%) and were also more likely to use assisted reproductive technology (5.2% vs. 1.0%) than were patients without PCOS (all P less than .001). During pregnancy, there was a higher rate of gestational diabetes (13.7% vs. 7.7%), preeclampsia (5.0% vs. 2.6%), preterm birth (16.9% vs. 12.2%), multiple gestation (6.6% vs. 2.5%), and cesarean section (45.1% vs. 32.9%) in patients with PCOS, compared with those without PCOS (all P less than .001).

For patients in the postpartum period, women with PCOS were more likely to experience postpartum thrombotic disease (adjusted odds ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-2.09; P = .001), hypertensive heart disease (aOR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.04-2.01; P = .027), eclampsia (aOR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.14-1.86; P = .003), heart failure (aOR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.08-1.64; P = .007), preeclampsia (aOR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.17-1.45; P = than .001), and peripartum cardiomyopathy (aOR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.03-1.54; P = .027).

With regard to depression, women with PCOS also were at greater risk of developing perinatal (aOR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.22-1.33) and postpartum (aOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.36-1.57) depression, compared with women without PCOS (both P less than .001).

Dr. Dokras acknowledged the limitations of administrative datasets and noted that prospective studies need to be conducted to verify their findings.

This study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Dokras reported being a consultant for Medtronic, AbbVie, and Ferring.

SOURCE: Dokras A, et al. ASRM 2019. Abstract O-93.

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