INTRODUCTION: Low socioeconomic status (SES) may be associated with increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and vice versa. Possible associations between SES, obesity and ethnicity in PCOS are undetermined.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: National register-based study including women with PCOS aged 25 years or above (PCOS Denmark and an embedded cohort; PCOS Odense University Hospital [OUH]) and one control population. PCOS Denmark (n = 13 891) included women with PCOS in the Danish National Patient Register. Women in PCOS OUH underwent clinical examination (n = 814). Three age-matched controls were included per patient (n = 41 584). The main outcome measure was SES (personal income, occupational status and education).
RESULTS: The median (Q1; Q3) age of women in PCOS Denmark and controls was 33 (29; 39) years. Women with personal income in the lower tertile had a higher probability of a PCOS diagnosis than women in the high-income tertile (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-1.6). Women who were unemployed or on welfare payment (aOR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4-1.6), or who retired early (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.7-2.0) had a higher probability of a PCOS diagnosis than women affiliated to the labor market. Women originating from the Middle East more often had PCOS (aOR 3.2, 95% CI 2.8-3.7) compared with women originating from Europe. In PCOS OUH, SES was lower in obese than in normal weight women.
CONCLUSIONS: A diagnosis of PCOS was associated with lower SES. In PCOS, women of foreign origin and women with obesity more often had low SES.