Oral Presentation Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016

Asthma in reproductive-aged women with polycystic ovary syndrome and association with Obesity (#130)

Thaw Dar TH Htet 1 , Helena HT Teede 1 2 3 4 , Barbora BdC de Courten 1 2 3 , Deborah DL Lexton 5 , Lisa LM Moran 1 3 4 , Anju AJ Joham 1 2 3
  1. Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne
  2. Diabetes and Vascular Medicine Unit, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  3. Monash Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  4. The Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  5. Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New south wales


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 9-18% of reproductive-aged women1. Recent research suggests that women with PCOS may have a higher prevalence of asthma2,3. However, there is no epidemiological study aimed to explore the relationship between PCOS, asthma and the relationship with body mass index (BMI).


This study is a cross-sectional analyses of data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), a large, community-based, prospective study. For this study, the data from survey 4 undertaken in 2006 is examined for an association between self-reported PCOS and asthma in women aged 28-33 years (n=478 PCOS, n=8134 controls).


Reported prevalence of PCOS was 5.8% (95% CI: 5.3%-6.4%) and women with PCOS had a higher BMI than women without PCOS (mean BMI 27.8±0.4 vs 24.8±0.1 kg/m2, P<0.001). The prevalence of asthma was 15.2% in women with PCOS and 10.6% in women without PCOS (P=0.004). Women with PCOS reporting asthma had a trend for higher BMI compared to women without asthma (29.9±0.89 kg/m2 vs 27.7±0.36 kg/m2, P=0.05). Women without PCOS reporting asthma had a higher BMI compared to women without asthma (26.4±0.23 kg/m2 vs 24.9±0.65 kg/m2; P<0.001). After adjustment for age, BMI and smoking status, PCOS was associated with increased odds of asthma (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.004–1.79, P=0.047). BMI in the overweight and obese range were also associated with increased odds of asthma (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.02-1.50, P=0.03 and OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.46-2.15, P<0.001) respectively.



In this large community-based cohort of reproductive-aged women in Australia, both PCOS status and overweight and obese status were independently associated with asthma. With rising PCOS prevalence and associated health and economic burden, it is important to recognise that PCOS is complex and diverse with potential effects in health areas in addition to those conventionally associated with PCOS.



  1. March WA, Moore VM, Willson KJ, Phillips DI, Norman RJ, Davies MJ. The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a community sample assessed under contrasting diagnostic criteria. Hum Reprod. 2010;25(2):544-51.
  2. Glintborg D, Hass Rubin K, Nybo M, Abrahamsen B, Andersen M. Morbidity and medicine prescriptions in a nationwide Danish population of patients diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol. 2015;172(5):627-38.
  3. Doherty DA, Newnham JP, Bower C, Hart R. Implications of polycystic ovary syndrome for pregnancy and for the health of offspring. Obstet Gynecol. June 2015;125(6):1397-406.