Sleep Disorders

23 June 2011

Sleep disorders common in PCOS girls

Adolescent girls with polycystic ovarian syndromeare at considerably heightened risk for sleep-disordered breathing and excessive daytime sleepiness, researchers have found.


Adolescent girls with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at considerably heightened risk for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), researchers have found.

The senior author on the report, Dr Raanan Arens of Montefiore Medical Centre in New York City, says paediatricians should look for all of these; PCOS, as well as SDB and EDS in PCOS in teenage girls.

SDB and EDS were highly prevalent in patients compared to matched controls, and in addition, "the presence of the metabolic syndrome was shown to be independently associated with SDB and EDS in this group," said Dr Arens.

The research team administered two standardised questionnaires to 103 young girls with PCOS and 90 controls, all ages 13-18, and also reviewed anthropometric and metabolic data on each subject. The controls were matched to patients by age, ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI) z score.

The results showed SDB in 45.6% of girls with PCOS vs 27.8% of controls. Girls with PCOS also had higher rates of EDS (54.4% vs 35.6%) and metabolic syndrome (42.6% vs 16.1%), according to The Journal of Paediatrics.

Higher BMI

In addition, among girls with PCOS, those with EDS had a higher mean BMI z score and a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome than those without EDS. There were similar findings for those with PCOS and SDB.

Dr Arens says, "Treatment in general is for sleep apnea" and "is similar to that in the general population adenotonsillectomy, continuous positive airway pressure, weight management and exercise."

"Treatment for PCOS would be oral contraceptive, metformin, and weight management," he adds.

In any case, he recommends, girls with one or more of these conditions should be referred to a sleep specialist, endocrinologist or adolescent expert.

(Reuters Health, David Douglas, June 2011)

Read more:

Sleep focus centre

The A to Zzz of sleep


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules