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Associations between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Antibiotic Use: Results from the UAEHFS.

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Abdulle, Abdishakur 
Ahmad, Amar 


Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a higher susceptibility to infections compared to those without PCOS. Studies evaluating antibiotic use based on PCOS status are scarce. Therefore, we aimed to (i) assess the associations between self-reported PCOS and antibiotic use, and (ii) whether PCOS treatment and the age at PCOS diagnosis modified the associations above. This cross-sectional analysis used the United Arab Emirates Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS) conducted from February 2016 to March 2023 involving 2063 Emirati women aged 18-62 years. We performed ordinal logistic regressions under unadjusted and demographic-health-characteristic-adjusted models to obtain the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to analyze PCOS and antibiotic use. Subgroup analyses were performed by treatment status and age at diagnosis. We found that women with PCOS were 55% more likely to frequently take a course of antibiotics in the past year (aOR 1.55; 95% CI 1.26-1.90). Similar likelihoods were also found among those being treated for PCOS and those without treatment but with a PCOS diagnosis at ≤25 years. Our study suggests that PCOS was associated with an increased use of antibiotics among Emirati women. Understanding the frequent antibiotic use susceptibility among those with PCOS may improve antibiotic use surveillance and promote antibiotic stewardship in these at-risk individuals.


Peer reviewed: True

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank all members of the Public Health Research Center at New York University Abu Dhabi and those who are actively involved in the UAE Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS). This study would not have been possible without their collective effort.

Publication status: Published


PCOS, antibiotic use, epidemiology, global health, polycystic ovary syndrome

Journal Title

Antibiotics (Basel)

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Tamkeen (G1206)