Objective: To study the influence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) on obstetric and perinatal outcomes and on offspring in childhood.
Methods: Using statewide data linkage systems within Western Australia, 2,566 hospitalized women with a PCOS diagnosis and at least one pregnancy at 20 weeks of gestation or greater, between 1997 and 2011, were compared with 25,660 randomly selected age-matched women not hospitalized with a PCOS diagnosis with regard to perinatal outcomes, congenital anomalies, and general health of offspring. Hospitalizations were categorized by International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision diagnoses and rates by 10 years by Kaplan-Meier estimates. Polycystic ovary syndrome effects were summarized using adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) after controlling for maternal and perinatal characteristics, including maternal diabetes and obesity.
Results: Of women with PCOS (n=1,789), 69.7% and 62.9% (n=16,139) of women without PCOS had one or more births. Hospitalizations up to 31 years were examined for 38,361 offspring. Offspring of women with PCOS were at higher risk of preterm birth (15.5% compared with 7.6% OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.53-1.98), perinatal mortality (2.3% compared with 0.7%, OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.02-2.18), more postnatal hospitalizations (14.1% compared with 7.9%, OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.05-1.40), more congenital anomalies (6.3% compared with 4.9%, OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.03-1.40), cardiovascular (1.5% compared with 1.0%, OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.01-1.87), and urogenital defects (2.0% compared with 1.4% OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.03-1.81). Maternal PCOS was associated with increased hospitalizations for their offspring, including metabolic disorder (7.9% compared with 5.3%, HR 1.43, 95% CI 1.26-1.65), disease of the nervous system (9.4% compared with 6.9%, HR 1.17, 95% CI 1.03-1.33), and asthma (6.9% compared with 4.9%, HR 1.32, 95% CI 1.13-1.54).
Conclusion: Controlling for increased perinatal risk, maternal PCOS was associated with a predisposition to adverse health outcomes for their offspring.
Level of evidence: II.