Last updated on February 2018

The Impact of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.


Brief description of study

Women with PCOS and OSA, compared to women with PCOS only, have more severe clinical and biochemical features of PCOS and impaired QoL. This is an observational cross-sectional study in a secondary care PCOS clinic in the WISDEM Centre, University Hospital Coventry.

The primary aim of this study is to examine the relationship between OSA and impaired QoL in women with PCOS. Study secondary outcomes are to examine the relationship between OSA and the clinical and biochemical features in women with PCOS.

Detailed Study Description

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. PCOS is associated with multiple co-morbidities including obesity, insulin resistance, subfertility, impaired quality of life (QoL) and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common medical condition that is often undiagnosed, particularly in women. Obesity is a common risk factor for OSA and PCOS and OSA is associated with comorbidities similar to those observed in patients with PCOS such as insulin resistance, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and impaired QoL. Hence it is not surprising that OSA and PCOS might co-exist.

However, the impact of OSA in women with PCOS remains unclear and understudied. It is plausible that OSA may contribute to the subfertility and impaired QoL observed in women with PCOS by increasing insulin resistance, activation of the sympathetic nervous system, disturbing the hypothalamic/pituitary/ovarian axis, and contributing to excessive daytime sleepiness and reduced mood.

38 women with PCOS will be recruited from the PCOS clinic, weight management clinic, reproductive endocrinology clinic and through posters displayed at University Hospital Coventry and an e-poster displayed at the hospital intranet. Women with increased risk of OSA, based on the Berlin questionnaire and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), will have home-based sleep studies performed. They will also be referred to the Respiratory Physician, as part of routine NHS care.

Study participants will be divided based on the results of the Berlin and ESS questionnaires and sleep studies into two groups: 1) PCOS low risk OSA: women with normal ESS and normal Berlin questionnaire (no sleep studies performed), or women with normal sleep studies; and 2) PCOS OSA: women with OSA proven by sleep studies.

Clinical and biochemical features including reproductive history, depression and anxiety [using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression questionnaire (HAD)], and QoL [using the PCOS health-related quality of life questionnaire (PCOSQ) and the World Health Organisation QoL-BREF will be compared between the two groups.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03065322

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Hassan Kahal

University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust
Coventry, United Kingdom
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