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1 in 5 women affected by PCOS: Metropolis Study

  • Women between the age group of 15 and 30 are at high risk of PCOS
  • East India leads the chart with 1 in 4 women suffering from PCOS

Hyderabad, August 31, 2015:  Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, a multinational chain of pathology laboratories; conducted an inclusive study on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to observe the trends in PCOS cases in young women in India. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome commonly known as PCOS, is a very prevalent reproductive disorder in women and the leading cause of fertility among women today.

Metropolis conducted a comprehensive pan India study on 27411 samples of testosterone over a period of 18 months. Out of 27411 samples, around 4824, (17.60%) of the females face hormonal associated risk with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The increasing trend of PCOS is predominantly seen in the age group 15 to 30 years. Among the samples tested East India shows alarming levels of 25.88% women affected by PCOS, followed by 18.62% in North India, which can be largely attributed to lack of awareness among young women and ignorance.

Commenting on the study Dr. Sonali Kolte, General Manager – Medico Marketing, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said, “Undiagnosed PCOS can lead to infertility and in long term can cause several health complications; which can be attributed to other factors as well. Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent health related problems. Today a lot of young women are aware of the condition and seek medical help’’

What is PCOS? It is a common misconception that PCOS is all about cysts but it is in fact a characteristic amalgamation of cosmetic, gynecological and metabolic symptoms. Cosmetic symptoms include facial hair, thinning of the scalp and acne. Gynecological symptoms include irregular or scanty periods which are usually the first red flag in adolescents. Infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss affects the women in the reproductive age. PCOS in older women could even lead to cancer of the uterus, cardiac disease and type 2 diabetes. Hence it is important to manage the symptom along with proper diet and exercise. Awareness and accurate diagnosis is the first step in managing PCOS in a way that it improves quality of life of the patient. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collection of fluids called cyst. The cysts are not harmful, but can lead to hormonal imbalances.

Diagnosis: Testosterone test along with a host of other tests (blood sugar, insulin, FSH, LH, 17OHP, DHEAS) are carried out to ascertain PCOS in women. Testosterone plays an important role in both men and women, as it affects the brain, bone, muscle, fat distribution, sexual functions etc. Women have much lower amount of testosterone in the body compared to men. 

The below tables has been segregated zone wise to give an overall picture of PCOS in India

Zone Abnormal Profiles (in %)
North India 18.62
East India 25.88
West India 19.88
South India 18

(Reference range: Testosterone Total: 15 – 70 ng/dl, Testosterone Free: 0.29 – 3.18 pg/ml, DHEAS: 45 – 270 ug/dl)

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