Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have an increased risk for developing asthma, according to data presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.
“PCOS, a common disease affecting 2-6% of women in the reproductive age, is characterized by insulin resistance, sex hormones disturbances, anovulatory infertility, and chronic inflammation; all common risk factors for asthma,” Joe G. Zein, MD, lead author of the study from the department of pulmonary medicine at Cleveland Clinic, told Healio Internal Medicine.
Joe G. Zein
However, little is known about the association between asthma in women and sex hormone disturbances, according to the researchers.
Zein and colleagues performed a cross-sectional study to evaluate if women of reproductive age with PCOS were at increased risk for asthma. They used data from a large clinical registry, Explorys, including 4,159,980 women aged 20 to 49 years with or without PCOS from 26 health care organizations in the United States. Of the included women, 94,460 (2.3%) were diagnosed with PCOS. An additional analysis excluding current or remote smokers and patients with COPD was performed.
Compared with controls, women with PCOS had a higher prevalence of asthma (21.6% vs. 13.7%; P < 0.001), which remained after subgroup stratification by age and BMI. After adjusting for age, ethnicity, smoking and BMI, women with PCOS were at an increased risk for asthma (adjusted OR = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.57-1.61).
“Obesity and smoking significantly increase risk of asthma in patients with PCOS,” Zein said.
Asthma was associated with white race (aOR = 1.08; 95% CI, 1.04-1.12), BMI between 25 kg/m2and 30 kg/m2 vs. BMI less than 25 kg/m2 (aOR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.09-1.19), BMI greater than 30 kg/m2 vs. BMI less than 25 kg/m2 (aOR = 1.37; 95% CI, 1.31-1.42) and smoking (aOR = 2.07; 95% CI, 2.01-2.14) among women with PCOS. When patients with COPD or smoking history were excluded, this risk was higher (OR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.79-1.85).
“Sex hormone disturbances may place reproductive-age women with PCOS at higher risk for asthma,” Zein and colleagues concluded. “The hyperandrogenism involved in PCOS does not appear to offer any overall protection in this setting.” – by Alaina Tedesco
Yaqoob Z, et al. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is associated with a higher risk for asthma.” Presented at: American Thoracic Society International Conference; May 19-24, 2017; Washington, D.C.
Zein reports no relevant financial disclosures.