PCOS does not make COVID-19 worse for women

25 Jan 2023
PCOS does not make COVID-19 worse for women

In women who have contracted COVID-19, the presence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) does not appear to drive the risk of increased disease severity, according to a study.

The study used data from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) and included 2,089,913 nonpregnant women aged 18–65 years, among whom 39,459 had PCOS. All of them underwent testing for SARS-COV-2 infection.

Women with vs without PCOS were younger (mean age 34.3 vs 43.2 years) and more likely to have higher body mass index (BMI; mean 36.7 vs 30.0 kg/m2) and have several comorbidities including diabetes (28.3 percent vs 14.7 percent) and depression (34.0 percent vs 11.1 percent).

The proportion of women who tested positive for SARS-COV-2 infection was 23.8 percent among women with PCOS and 28.3 percent among those without PCOS (control; p<0.001). COVID-19-related deaths occurred in 0.4 percent of women with PCOS compared to 0.7 among of those without PCOS (p<0.001).

Compared with the control group, the PCOS group did not have greater odds of being SARS-CoV-2 positive overall (odds ratio [OR], 0.98, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.97–0.98), having mild disease (OR, 1.02, 95 percent CI, 1.01–1.03), moderate disease (OR, 0.99, 95 percent CI, 0.98–1.00), or severe disease (OR, 0.99, 95 percent CI, 0.99–1.00).

Likewise, there was no difference in COVID-related mortality in the PCOS and control groups (OR, 1.00, 95 percent CI, 0.99–1.00).

The findings were similar in the reproductive age (18–49 years) and obese (BMI >30 kg/m2) cohorts.

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