Morbidity Risk Increased for Children Exposed to Maternal PCOS


TUESDAY, Aug. 2, 2022 — Children born to mothers with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk for childhood morbidity, according to a study published online July 13 in Human Reproduction.

Shu Qin Wei, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Montreal, and colleagues conducted a retrospective longitudinal cohort study involving 1,038,375 children in Quebec between 2006 and 2020. A total of 7,160 children whose mothers had PCOS and 1,031,215 unexposed children were included. Child hospitalization for infectious, allergic, malignant, and other diseases before 13 years of age were examined.

The researchers found that children exposed to PCOS and unexposed children were hospitalized at a rate of 68.9 and 45.3 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Maternal PCOS was associated with 1.32, 1.31, and 1.47 times the risk for any childhood hospitalization, infectious disease hospitalization, and allergy-related hospitalization compared with no exposure. Increases were also seen in the risk for hospitalization for childhood metabolic, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, and otologic disorders (hazard ratios, 1.59, 1.72, 1.74, and 1.34, respectively). Little difference in the association of PCOS with hospitalization was seen among boys and girls (hazard ratios, 1.31 and 1.34, respectively).

“We believe that further research is needed to see if effective management of maternal PCOS can reduce the risk of health problems in offspring and improve long-term health,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We need to know if exercise, dietary changes, and medications can make a difference.”

Abstract/Full Text

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