Cardiovascular events among reproductive and menopausal age women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2020 Jan;36(1):12-23. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2019.1650337. Epub 2019 Aug 6.


This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence (P)/hazard ratio (HR) of cardiovascular (CV) events among reproductive age and menopausal age women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in comparison with healthy controls. PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Web of science, and Google scholar were searched for retrieving observational studies published up to April 2018 investigating CV events in patients with PCOS. The primary outcomes were a composite outcome of CV events [including coronary arterial disease (CAD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), myocardial infarction (MI), angina, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease] and mortality due to CV events; secondary outcomes were specific CVD events, including cerebrovascular disease, CAD, CVD, MI, angina, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. In this meta-analysis, both fixed and random effect models were used. Potential sources of heterogeneity were explored by meta-regression and subgroup analyses. Sixteen studies including 12 population-based were analyzed for the meta-analysis. Results showed that the pooled HRs of CV events in PCOS patients of reproductive age and in menopausal/aging women were higher than healthy controls (pooled HR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.12-1.71) and (pooled HR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.15, 2.04), respectively. Compared to healthy controls, analysis of population-based studies revealed that the HR of CV events increased only in reproductive age PCOS patients (1.43-fold, 95% CI: 1.27, 1.61), whereas the difference was not statistically significant when comparing menopausal/aging PCOS patients to healthy controls (1.03-fold, 95% CI: 0.41, 2.59). Sufficient data were not available for comparing the HRs of mortality due to CV events between the two PCOS age groups. Mainly based on population-based study, we found a greater risk of CV events in reproductive aged but not in menopausal/aging PCOS women, suggesting that having a history of PCOS during reproductive ages may not be an important risk factor for developing events in later life. This is a preliminary assumption and needs to be reevaluated by further comprehensive cohort studies of longer duration, initiated in the reproductive period, considering all known CVD risk factors.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; hazard ratio; meta-analysis; polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Stroke / epidemiology