Smoking, obesity and PCOS risk

By Rob Dabrowski on 14 June 2018 Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Smoking Obesity Research

New research indicates women who smoke and are obese during pregnancy are more likely to have daughters who develop polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) later in life.

The study covered 681,123 girls born in Sweden during the years 1982 to 1995.

The girls were followed until the year 2010 for a diagnosis of PCOS, during which time 3738 girls were diagnosed.

The authors state: ‘Maternal smoking and increased BMI appear to increase the risk of PCOS in offspring.’

Research has been published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Mandy Forrester, head of quality and standards at the RCM, said: ‘This is more evidence about the importance of women at the very least reducing smoking before and during pregnancy and ideally stopping altogether. What is a concern is that we are seeing threats to smoking cessation services as public health budgets are cut.
‘On a general level obesity is linked to an increase in complications in pregnancy for the mother and baby and as this research shows, possibly other negative effects also. It is very important that women are at a healthy weight before and during pregnancy, and indeed afterwards for their general health.’
She added: ‘If we can reduce smoking in pregnancy and levels of obesity it could make significant improvements to the health of the mother and her baby. There is clearly a need to invest in services that support weight management and stopping smoking.’

For more information and to read the research, click here