Depression in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: clinical and biochemical correlates

J Affect Disord. 2003 May;74(3):299-304. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0327(02)00117-9.


Background: We assessed the prevalence of mood disturbance among women with prospectively documented polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Methods: Thirty-two women with PCOS completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Rating Scale (CES-D). Clinical and biochemical characteristics were assessed.

Results: Sixteen women had CES-D scores indicative of depression. Depression was associated with greater insulin resistance (P=0.02) and higher body mass index (P=0.05). Women receiving oral contraceptives for the treatment of PCOS were less depressed than patients not receiving treatment (P=0.03).

Limitations: Possible selection bias, use of a screening tool alone without further diagnostic evaluation of depression, small samples size and lack of direct comparison with an age matched control group, should be considered in interpretation of these results.

Conclusion: Findings suggest a high prevalence of depression among women with PCOS, and an association between depression and PCOS markers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Testosterone