Background and purpose: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder (prevalence rate: 2.2-26%) in women of childbearing age. Symptoms of this condition are associated with psychological distress. Evaluation of cognitive function of PCOS patients has yielded discrepant results. Given that cognitive function of these patients might be affected by depression and anxiety, this study aimed to evaluate the level of depression and anxiety in this group of women, investigate their association with cognitive function, and compare the results with those of healthy women.
Materials and methods: This case-control study was conducted in 53 patients with PCOS, selected using the Rotterdam diagnostic criteria, and 50 healthy women as control group. Anxiety and depression levels were evaluated by Beck’s anxiety and depression inventories (second edition). Moreover, cognitive function of the participants was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Data analysis was performed in SPSS, version 21, using t-test, Chi-square and Pearson’s correlation coefficient.
Results: In this study, the mean depression score was significantly higher than that of the control group (20.35±9.82 vs. 14.46±8.40; P=0.001). In addition, a significant difference was observed between the two groups in terms of anxiety score, which was higher in the patient group (17.35±10.44 vs. 12.40±9.65; P=0.01). Frequencies of severe depression and anxiety in the patient group were 30.2% and 26.4%, respectively, while they were 6% and 12% in the control group, respectively; the difference between the two groups was statistically significant (P=0.007 and P=0.02, respectively). However, no significant association was noted between cognitive function and levels of depression (r=-0.033, P=0.81) and anxiety (r=-0.15, P=0.26).
Conclusion: Prevalence of depression was found to be high in patients with PCOS. Despite many reports, we found no association between depression and anxiety levels in PCOS patients and their cognitive function.