Pregnancy outcomes poorer in PCOS women

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at increased risk of pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension, researchers report at the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The PCOS group that was examined had significantly higher rates of gestational diabetes (odds ratio, 2.82), pregnancy-induced hypertension (OR, 4.07), pre-eclampsia (OR, 4.23) and preterm delivery (OR, 2.20).

Dr Lucinda E. Kjerulff and colleagues at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville note that although these findings are generally in keeping with earlier research, they sought to confirm them by conducting a meta-analysis including recent studies.

The study

The team identified 23 studies, involving 2,544 patients with PCOS and 89,848 without.

Rates of caesarean and operative vaginal delivery were greater in PCOS women as were the risks for small-for-gestational-age (SGA) and large-for-gestational-age offspring.

Overall, only the risks of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery and of SGA infants were significantly increased.

Despite the lack of prospective data to establish causation, the researchers state that "This study is still useful for clinical practice."

Physicians, they conclude, "Should continue to consider patients with PCOS high risk and monitor closely for development of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia." (Reuters Health/ April 2011)

Read more about pregnancy

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