- PCU is associated with a 28% increased risk of COVID-19, even when counting other factors.
- The common hormonal condition can cause weight gain, excess body hair, infertility and mood swings.
- The SOP is often misdiagnosed, and research in the area is not well funded.
- Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome of the common hormonal disorder (PCOS) are at higher risk of COVID-19, a study including more than 20,000 people with the condition found.
Something about PCOS itself, rather than other factors like its link to
, seem to have caused the increased risk, but more research is needed.
Women with PCOS were not considered a high-risk population for COVID-19, but the study authors say it is a mistake – and another example of how PCOS is often overlooked in the health system.
“Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, women with PCOS had consistently reported fragmented care, delayed diagnosis, and a perception of a poor clinical understanding of their situation,” said co-author Dr. Michael O ‘Reilly, of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, he said in a press release.
Consequently, they fear that a higher risk of COVID-19 “would further compromise timely access to health care and serve to increase the sense of prevention currently experienced by many patients”.
PCOS increases the risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and depression
PCU, which affects one in 10 women of childbearing age, is often marked by excessive levels of male hormones (or androgens) and small follicles on the ovaries that can disrupt menstruation, hence the name.
In addition to irregular or very heavy periods, the condition can cause excess hair on the face and body, skin problems, mood changes, poor sleep, and weight gain. It is the leading cause of female infertility, although many people with the condition can and do get pregnant.
Doctors don’t know what causes SOP, but genetics, exposure to environmental toxins, and excess insulin may play a role.
About 50% to 70% of PCOS patients are insulin resistant, which leads to diabetes – a situation that also increases the risk of COVID-19.
PCOS patients also have an increased risk of heart attacks, depression, and endometrial cancer.
There is no cure for PCU, however
pills and lifestyle changes can help you manage it.
The study found that PCU increased COVID-19 risk by 26%, even when taking into account other factors.
To conduct the study, researchers from several institutions in the UK and Ireland kept patient records of thousands of women with and without PCU during the first half of 2020. Because the condition makes women more prone. to cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, non-alcoholic liver diseases, and
– all risk factors for COVID-19 – wanted to see if it also made women vulnerable to the virus.
The researchers found that the percentage of COVID-19 in PCOS patients was close to double that of people without it. When adjusted for age and situation, they found that the risk of COVID-19 was closer to 51% higher in women with PCOS.
Even when they further account for COVID-19 risk factors such as obesity, glucose regulation,
, and hypertension, and
, The researchers found that PCOS patients still had a 26% higher risk of contracting the virus. They did not take into account race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
“It’s not just about the risk factors associated with PCU, but something in PCU is actually the cause of it,” Lead author Anuradhaa Subramanian told CNN. It will take more research to discover, but researchers hypothesize that it may have something to do with how SOPC can create low-quality inflammation in the body.
The study authors also wanted to learn whether PCOS seems to influence susceptibility to severe COVID-19 or increase the risk for long-term symptoms.
Dr.Cindy Duke, an OB-GYN, fertility specialist, and Las Vegas-based virologist, told the Insider the study “also explains many of the cases of young women who are disproportionately affected by COVID and even women in their 40s and 50s. “.
Women with PCOS have long been neglected by the health care system
Symptoms of PCOS such as having a heavy period or gaining weight can be eliminated as part of life.
A study found one-third of PCOS patients who had seen at least three healthcare professionals in two years before receiving the correct diagnosis. Women can see a dermatologist for hair growth or talk to her OB about irregular periods without seeing anyone put two and two together.
Duke, who hosts a Clubhouse event every Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST called “we talk PCOS weekly,” told the Insider that many patients with the situation “are frustrated.”
It is not surprising then that PCU has been overlooked as a potential risk factor for COVID-19 so far. But the authors say it is not too late for people with the condition to take precautions against COVID-19, keeping their mental mind on top.
“The risk of mental health problems including low self-esteem, anxiety and depression is significantly higher in women with PCOS,” senior community co-author Dr. Krish Nirantharakumar of the University of Birmingham Institute of Applied Health Research. “Councils for close adherence to social distancing should be tempered by the associated risk of aggravating these underlying problems.”