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Study questionWhat is the global, regional and national burden of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), by age and socio-demographic index (SDI), over the period 1990-2019?Summary answerIn 2019, the global age-standardized point prevalence, incidence and years lived with disability (YLD) of PCOS were 30.4, 29.5 and 29.9 per 100 000 population, respectively.What is known alreadyData from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study 2017 showed that the global age-standardized PCOS incidence rate increased 1.45% over the period 1990-2017.Study design, size, durationA systematic analysis of the PCOS prevalence, incidence and YLDs across 204 countries and territories was performed.Participants/materials, setting, methodsData on the point prevalence, annual incidence and YLDs due to PCOS were retrieved from the GBD study 2019 for 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019. The counts and age-standardized rates (per 100 000) are presented, along with their corresponding 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs).Main results and the role of chanceIn 2019, the global age-standardized point prevalence and annual incidence rates for PCOS were 1677.8 (95% UI: 1166.0 to 2192.4) and 59.8 (95% UI: 41.7 to 78.9) per 100 000, which represents a 30.4% and 29.5% increase since 1990, respectively. Moreover, the global age-standardized YLD rate in 2019 was 14.7 (6.3-29.5), an increase of 29.9% since 1990. In 2019, Italy (7897.0), Japan (6298.7) and New Zealand (5419.1) had the highest estimated age-standardized point prevalences of PCOS. Globally, the number of prevalent cases and the point prevalence of PCOS peaked in the 25-29 years and 40-44 years age groups, respectively. Positive associations were found between the burden of PCOS and the SDI at the regional and national levels.Limitations, reasons for cautionVariations in how PCOS was defined is a major limitation that prevents valid comparisons between different regions.Wider implications of the findingsGlobally, the burden of PCOS has increased at an alarming rate, making it a major public health concern. Increasing public awareness about this common condition, improving management options and increasing support to reduce factors which lead to further complications, need to be public health priorities.Study funding/competing interest(s)The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who were not involved in any way in the preparation of this manuscript, funded the GBD study. The Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Grant No. 28709) also supported the present report. The authors declare no competing interests.Trial registration numberN/A.

Original publication




Journal article


Human reproduction (oxford, england)

Publication Date



Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.