Increased risk of depressive disorders in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Fertil Steril. 2007 Jun;87(6):1369-76. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.11.039. Epub 2007 Mar 29.


Objective: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with several metabolic complications. A few small studies have also suggested an increased risk of depression in women with PCOS. The goals of this study were to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in women with PCOS compared with controls and to evaluate the correlation between depression, hyperandrogenism, and other metabolic markers.

Design: Cohort study.

Setting: University Hospital.

Patient(s): Women with PCOS (Rotterdam criteria; n = 103). Women without PCOS seen during the same time period for an annual exam were used as control subjects (n = 103).

Intervention(s): Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders Patient Health Questionnaire (PRIME-MD PHQ) and the Beck Depression Inventory.

Main outcome measure(s): Depressive disorders.

Result(s): Women with PCOS were at an increased risk for depressive disorders (new cases) compared with controls (21% vs. 3%; odds ratio 5.11 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.26-20.69]; P<.03). The overall risk of depressive disorders in women with PCOS was 4.23 (95% CI 1.49-11.98; P<.01) independent of obesity and infertility. Compared with the nondepressed PCOS subjects, the depressed PCOS subjects had a higher body mass index (BMI) and evidence of insulin resistance (P<.02).

Conclusion(s): We report a significantly increased risk of depressive disorders (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV) in women with PCOS and recommend routine screening in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires