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International Journal of Women's Health

Publication Date



Purpose: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of self-reported polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) among Emiratis and examine bi-directional associations of PCOS with self-reported chronic diseases, namely: diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was performed using the UAE Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS) data collected from February 2016 to April 2022 involving 1040 Emirati women aged 25–67 years from recruitment centers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The bi-directional associations between self-reported PCOS and self-reported chronic diseases were evaluated by establishing temporality based on reported age-at-diagnoses. Firstly, the associations between PCOS (diagnosed at ≥25 years) and chronic diseases (diagnosed at <25 years) were examined, followed by PCOS (diagnosed at <25 years) and chronic diseases (diagnosed at ≥25 years). Finally, a Poisson regression under unadjusted and age-and-body mass index (BMI) adjusted models was performed to obtain the risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: The prevalence of PCOS in this study was 25.9%. Those with asthma and high cholesterol diagnosed at <25 years had increased risks of PCOS diagnosed at ≥25 years (RR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.17–2.76 for asthma; and RR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.01–2.59 for high cholesterol), compared to those respective healthier counterparts, after adjusting for age and BMI. No significant association was observed between PCOS diagnosed at <25 years and respective chronic diseases diagnosed at ≥25 years. Conclusion: PCOS prevalence among Emirati women was high. Asthma and high cholesterol in earlier life were associated with PCOS in later life. Understanding how chronic disease conditions and PCOS are associated in bi-directional ways may improve the surveillance of chronic disease conditions among women with PCOS and may also contribute to more targeted PCOS prevention strategies.




Informa UK Limited



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Medicine and Health Sciences


epidemiology, polycystic ovary syndrome, self-reported diagnosis, UAE Healthy Future Study, United Arab Emirates, women’s health

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series