Increased COVID-19 infections in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a population-based study
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Objective: Several recent observational studies have linked metabolic comorbidities to an increased risk from COVID- 19. Here we investigated whether women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. Design: Population-based closed cohort study between 31 January 2020 and 22 July 2020 in the setting of a UK primary care database (The Health Improvement Network, THIN). Methods: The main outcome was the incidence of COVID-19 coded as suspected o r confirmed by the primary care provider. We used Cox proportional hazards regression model with stepwise inclusion of explanatory variables (age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation, androgen excess, anovul ation, vitamin D deficiency, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease) to provide unadjusted and adjusted hazard risks (HR) of COVID-19 infection among women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS. Results: We identified 21 292 women with a coded diagnosis of PCO/PCOS an d randomly selected 78 310 aged and general practice matched control women. The crude COVID-19 inci dence was 18.1 and 11.9 per 1000 person-years among women with and without PCOS, respectively. Age-adjusted Cox regression analysis suggested a 51% higher risk of COVID-19 among women with PCOS compared to women without PCO S (HR: 1.51 (95% CI: 1.27-1.80), P < 0.001). After adjusting for age and BMI, HR reduced to 1.36 (1.14-1.63) ], P = 0.001. In the fully adjusted model, women with PCOS had a 28% increased risk of COVID-19 (aHR: 1.28 (1.05-1.56 ), P = 0.015). Conclusion: Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and should be specifically encouraged to adhere to infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Significance statement: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of cardio-metabolic disease, which have been identified as a risk factor for COVID-1 9. To investigate whether the increased metabolic risk in PCOS translates into an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, we carried out a population-based closed cohort study in the UK during its first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (January to July 2020), including 21 292 women with PCOS and 78 310 controls matched for sex, age and general pract ice location. Results revealed a 52% increased risk of COVID-19 infection in women with PCOS, which remained increased at 28% above controls after adjustment for age, BMI, impaired glucose regulation and other explanatory variables.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||European Journal of Endocrinology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2021|
- Adult, Age Factors, Body Mass Index, COVID-19/epidemiology, Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology, Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology, Female, Humans, Hypertension/epidemiology, Middle Aged, Obesity/epidemiology, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/epidemiology, Prediabetic State/epidemiology, Proportional Hazards Models, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, SARS-CoV-2, Testosterone/metabolism, United Kingdom/epidemiology, Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology