Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Health Promotion Issues
Depression and Reduced Well Being Associated with Androgen Excess Symptoms in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Gail Schoen Lemaire, PHD, APRN, BC, Department of Family and Community Health: Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, University of Maryland, School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA
Learning Objective #1: describe the symptoms of androgen excess that occur with polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS)and their association with depression and well being.
Learning Objective #2: compare depressive symptoms and well being of women with PCOS-related androgen excess to that of normative community samples.

Few studies have explored the relationship between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and depression. This study examined androgen excess symptoms, well-being, and depressive symptomatology in women with PCOS and compared participant’s reports of depressive symptoms and well being with those of community samples.  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association (PCOSA) members and women recruited from the Internet and physician practices participated in the study. Ninety-five women ages 18 to 46 who self-reported a PCOS diagnosis completed a mailed survey. Participants reported multiple androgen excess-related symptoms as well as reduced well-being and symptoms of depression. Gaining weight, being overweight, and craving carbohydrates were the symptoms reported as most distressing for participants. Excess facial and body hair, overweight, and carbohydrate craving were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. The mean score on the Beck Depression Inventory II, was 20.47 (SD ± 10.80), indicating moderate depressive symptoms among study participants. Compared with community norms, participants had significantly greater depression scores than college students (p. = .0003). Women in the study group had depression scores similar to patients with bipolar disorder and greater than patients with anxiety, adjustment, and other unspecified disorders. The study group reported reduced well being compared with non-patients (p. < .001) and well-being similar to that of inpatients with depression (p. = .66).  Excess body hair, scalp hair loss, and weight gain were related to reduced well-being. While additional research is needed, study findings suggest that androgen excess symptoms are distressing and interfere with daily life. Depressive symptoms occurred more often in the study group than in other samples. Further, participant’s symptoms of depression were not consistently reduced by anti-depressant medication, a finding that requires further study. Future research should identify treatments that can enhance well-being, reduce depression, and assist women with PCOS to cope with androgen excess.