Risk of cardiovascular events in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

S. Iftikhar, M. L. Collazo-Clavell, V. L. Roger, J. S. Sauver, Jr D. Brown, S. Cha, D. J. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have increased prevalence of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. However, data on the incidence of CV events are lacking in this population. Using Rochester Epidemiology Project resources, we conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing CV events in women with PCOS with those of women without PCOS in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Between 1966 and 1988, 309 women with PCOS and 343 without PCOS were identified. Mean (SD) age at PCOS diagnosis was 25.0 (5.3) years; mean age at last follow-up was 46.7 years. Mean (SD) follow-up was 23.7 (13.7) years. Women with PCOS had a higher body mass index (29.4 kg/m2 vs 28.3 kg/m2; p=.01). Prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension and levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were similar in the two groups. We observed no increase in CV events, including myocardial infarction (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.32 to 1.72; p=.48); coronary artery bypass graft surgery (adjusted HR 1.52; 95% CI 0.42 to 5.48; p=.52); death (adjusted HR 1.03; 95% CI, 0.29 to 3.71; p=.96); death due to CV disease (adjusted HR 5.67; 95% CI 0.51 to 63.7; p=.16); or stroke (adjusted HR 1.05; 95% CI 0.28 to 3.92; p=.94). Although women with PCOS weighed more than controls, there was no increased prevalence of other CV risk factors. Furthermore, we found no increase in CV events. While prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings, women with PCOS do not appear to have adverse CV outcomes in midlife.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalNetherlands Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Rochester epidemiology project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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