The prevalence of polycystic ovarian syndrome

It is well known to endocrinologists and gynecologists that the PCO-Syndrome is frequently encountered in particular among infertile patients. However exact figures are lacking concerning the prevalence of PCOS in the normal population. Asuncion and colleagues prospectively estimated the prevalence of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in a population of 154 Caucasian women of reproductive age reporting spontaneously for blood donation. Anthropometic data, the presence of hirsutism, acne, and androgenetic alopecia were recorded and blood test for androgen levels were performed. PCOS was defined by the presence of oligomenorrhea, clinical or/and biochemical hyperandrogenism and the exclusion of hyperprolactinemia, thyroid disorders and adrenal disorders (non-classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency). The results demonstrated a 6.5% prevalence of PCOS in a minimally biassed population of Caucasian women of Spain. The PCOS is therefore a common endocrine disorder.

Reference

Asuncion, M et al. (2000) A prospective study of the prevalence of the polycystic ovary syndrome in unselected caucasian women from Spain. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 85: 2434-2438

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