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Sun May 23, 2021, 07:32 AM

Women with PCOS at Higher Risk for Covid-19


More than a year into the pandemic, one study has found that some women are at higher risk for Covid-19 compared to others in their age and sex groups. These women, often young and otherwise healthy like Aguilar, have an underlying condition that isn't mentioned on any Covid-19 comorbidity list: polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.

PCOS, which affect about 1 in 10 women of "childbearing age," is an imbalance of reproductive hormones that can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, high androgen levels and ovarian cysts. But it can also come with a host of other health problems, nearly all of which overlap Covid-19 comorbidities.

"PCOS is completely underestimated in its impact. It's sort of seen as some reproductive issue that is not clinically relevant. But this is completely wrong ... Patients need to be seen as a high-risk population," said Dr. Wiebke Arlt, director of the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.


Researchers then "wanted to understand if the increased incidence of Covid-19 was only because of PCOS, or was it also because of the underlying risk factors that women with PCOS have?" lead author Anuradhaa Subramanian told CNN. In other words, if a woman has PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes, which one is putting her at increased risk for Covid-19.

In a fully adjusted model that took various risk factors into account, women with PCOS still had a 28% increased risk for confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection, according to the study.


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