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Association between pediatric asthma and adult polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): a cross-sectional analysis of the UAE healthy future Study (UAEHFS).

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Juber, Nirmin F 
Abdulle, Abdishakur 
AlJunaibi, Abdulla 
AlNaeemi, Abdulla 
Ahmad, Amar 


INTRODUCTION: Asthma and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are linked in several possible ways. To date, there has been no study evaluating whether pediatric asthma is an independent risk factor for adult PCOS. Our study aimed to examine the association between pediatric asthma (diagnosed at 0-19 years) and adult PCOS (diagnosed at ≥20 years). We further assessed whether the aforementioned association differed in two phenotypes of adult PCOS which were diagnosed at 20-25 years (young adult PCOS), and at >25 years (older adult PCOS). We also evaluated whether the age of asthma diagnosis (0-10 vs 11-19 years) modified the association between pediatric asthma and adult PCOS. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a retrospective cross-sectional analysis using the United Arab Emirates Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS) collected from February 2016 to April 2022 involving 1334 Emirati females aged 18-49 years. We fitted a Poisson regression model to estimate the risk ratio (RR) and its 95% confidence interval (95% CI) to assess the association between pediatric asthma and adult PCOS adjusting for age, urbanicity at birth, and parental smoking at birth. RESULTS: After adjusting for confounding factors and comparing to non-asthmatic counterparts, we found that females with pediatric asthma had a statistically significant association with adult PCOS diagnosed at ≥20 years (RR=1.56, 95% CI: 1.02-2.41), with a stronger magnitude of the association found in the older adult PCOS phenotype diagnosed at >25 years (RR=2.06, 95% CI: 1.16-3.65). Further, we also found females reported thinner childhood body size had a two-fold to three-fold increased risk of adult PCOS diagnosed at ≥20 years in main analysis and stratified analyses by age of asthma and PCOS diagnoses (RR=2.06, 95% CI: 1.08-3.93 in main analysis; RR=2.74, 95% CI: 1.22-6.15 among those diagnosed with PCOS > 25 years; and RR=3.50, 95% CI: 1.38-8.43 among those diagnosed with asthma at 11-19 years). CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric asthma was found to be an independent risk factor for adult PCOS. More targeted surveillance for those at risk of adult PCOS among pediatric asthmatics may prevent or delay PCOS in this at-risk group. Future studies with robust longitudinal designs aimed to elucidate the exact mechanism between pediatric asthma and PCOS are warranted.


Peer reviewed: True


PCOS, asthma, epidemiology, pediatric asthma, polycystic ovarian syndrome, public health, risk factors, Female, Humans, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Cross-Sectional Studies, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Asthma

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Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)

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Frontiers Media SA
MRC (MC_UU_00006/1)