Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in the United States: Clinical Visit Rates, Characteristics, and Associated Health Care Costs | Gynecology | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
July 11, 2011

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in the United States: Clinical Visit Rates, Characteristics, and Associated Health Care Costs

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Jason and Jarvis Associates, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(13):1209-1211. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.288

In 1935, Stein and Leventhal1 described 7 women with amenorrhea, infertility, hirsutism, and enlarged, polycystic ovaries. Variations of this disorder, now referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), are now thought to be the most frequent cause of oligoovulatory infertility2,3; however, there are no national data on PCOS. To address this deficit, the latest available data on PCOS-related visits to US medical facilities were compared with medical visits by similarly aged women seen for other problems (non–PCOS-related visits).

Data were obtained from the 2003-2008 National Hospital Medical Care and National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (NHAMCS and NAMCS),4-6 which together provide a representative sample of all medical visits to nonfederal US emergency departments, outpatient departments, and physician offices. For each visit sampled, up to 3 physician-determined diagnoses can be recorded using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) coding. Visits were considered PCOS related if any diagnoses was coded as ICD-9-CM 256.4, a defined medical code for PCOS (n = 172 records). Three additional records, with ICD-9-CM codes consistent with PCOS were also included.

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