PCOS poses no risk of pregnancy complications in women with healthy lifestyle
Infants born to mothers with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are less likely to be large for gestational age, according to data from the SCOPE* cohort study. Moreover, PCOS does not carry an increased risk of pregnancy complications in women following a healthy lifestyle.
The study included 5,628 apparently healthy nulliparous women with singleton pregnancies from SCOPE, among whom 354 had PCOS. Relative to those without the symptoms, women with PCOS were older, had a higher socioeconomic index and body mass index, were less likely to be smoking and drinking alcohol, and more likely to engage in vigorous exercise and take multivitamins.
More women in the PCOS group had gestational diabetes than in the non-PCOS group (9.7 percent vs 4.7 percent). In univariable logistic regression analysis, PCOS was associated with an elevated risk of gestational diabetes (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95 percent CI, 1.2–4.0).
In multivariable models, PCOS was significantly associated with a reduced risk of large for gestational age (OR, 0.62; 0.40–0.98). The proportion of large for gestational age infants attributable to PCOS was low at 0.22 percent.
Researchers noted that pregnant women with PCOS in the study population had a more favourable lifestyle compared with pregnant women who did not have the medical condition. This indicates that following a healthy lifestyle may offset the risk of pregnancy complications related to PCOS.
The beneficial effects of lifestyle modification on PCOS, as recommended by evidence-based PCOS guidelines, may therefore extend on pregnancy outcomes, they added. Risk estimation for pregnancy outcomes could also be similarly performed in women with and without PCOS as long as they have a similar health or lifestyle profile.
However, the present data should be confirmed in studies assessing both healthy and at-risk groups for pregnancy complications in women with well-defined PCOS vs controls and with consideration of lifestyle factors.
*Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints