Prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome among the privately insured, United States, 2003-2008

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Oct;207(4):299.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.07.023. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its phenotypes as defined by the National Institutes of Health, Rotterdam criteria, and Androgen Society.

Study design: Thomson Reuters MarketScan Commercial databases (Thomson Reuters Healthcare Inc, New York, NY) for 2003-2008 were used to calculate the prevalence of PCOS and to assess differences in demographic characteristics and comorbid conditions among women who were 18-45 years old with and without PCOS.

Results: The prevalence of PCOS was 1585.1 per 100,000; women with phenotype A or classic PCOS were most prevalent at 1031.5 per 100,000. Women with PCOS were more likely than those without PCOS to be 25-34 years old, be from the South, be infertile, have metabolic syndrome, have been seen by an endocrinologist, and have taken oral contraceptives.

Conclusion: This is the first study to use all available criteria to estimate the prevalence of PCOS. Providers should evaluate women with menstrual dysfunction for the presence of PCOS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology