Does PCOS syndrome affect life expectancy?

A woman sits on the sofa with a laptop.

Those affected by PCOS syndrome sometimes worry about the possible consequences – and their influence on life expectancy. (Source: shurkin_son/getty-images-bilder)

PCOS syndrome is often accompanied by other illnesses. Some can be life-threatening. However, it is questionable whether PCOS reduces life expectancy.

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS for short, is a hormonal disorder that only affects women and is manifested by various symptoms. Irregular menstrual cycles, acne, hair loss and increased body hair as well as an unfulfilled desire to have children : all of these are typical signs of the syndrome. However, not everyone affected has to struggle with all of the symptoms mentioned.

The other health problems that can be associated with PCOS also vary from woman to woman. Many of those affected also have obesity, type 2 diabetes and/or high blood pressure, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fatty liver can also develop together with the syndrome. In addition, in many cases PCOS brings with it psychological stress that can lead to depression.

All of these comorbidities represent a serious health risk. Nevertheless, PCOS syndrome is no reason to panic.

PCOS syndrome and life expectancy: What is known about it?

The symptoms that characterize PCOS syndrome are not life-threatening. PCOS does not have a direct impact on life expectancy.

However, women with PCOS often have risk factors for potentially life-threatening diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease and depression. Whether they are more susceptible to dying as a result of these diseases than women without PCOS has not yet been sufficiently researched. Whether and to what extent women with PCOS syndrome have a reduced life expectancy cannot be said with certainty.

Life-threatening consequences are often preventable

If a woman goes to the doctor with signs of PCOS syndrome, the doctor should also determine whether there are any comorbidities as part of the diagnosis. In particular, indications of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases as well as depression need to be clarified. In many cases, if they are identified early enough, they can be easily dealt with. Consistent treatment can significantly reduce the risk of serious consequences.


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