Cross-sectional study on the knowledge and prevalence of PCOS at a multiethnic university




Rao, Manisha
Broughton, K. Shane
LeMieux, Monique J.

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Wolters Kluwer


Introduction: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex, poorly understood, and underdiagnosed endocrine disorder in women. Understanding PCOS prevalence and information sources allows for resource development for those with PCOS and their loved ones. The purpose of this study was to identify PCOS prevalence, knowledge, and information sources in a young multiethnic cohort in Texas.

Methods: An online survey polled students, faculty, and staff at Texas Woman’s University campuses in Denton, Dallas, and Houston. Seven hundred sixty-nine respondents including 722 females and 47 males completed the survey.

Results: Approximately, 28.5% of female respondents indicated a formal diagnosis of PCOS, and 40.5% of those without a formal diagnosis had 2 or more symptoms that align with PCOS. A majority of participants ranked their PCOS knowledge as “Know some” or less (66.3% women and 83% of men). Healthcare professionals were the most common information source in women with a PCOS diagnosis (83.7%). Hispanics were least likely to use healthcare resources (36%) and to seek information from family and friends (17.6%). Differences were also observed by education level.

Conclusions: Although women in this study recorded a PCOS prevalence above the national average (6%–12%) and were more likely to seek information from healthcare professionals, these numbers may have been skewed attributable to an increased likelihood of polycystic women to respond to the questionnaire. Ethnicity and education need to be accounted for in designing informative material for polycystic women and their family and friends.


Article originally published by Progress in Preventive Medicine, 5(2). Published online 2020.


Awareness, Polycystic ovary syndrome, Survey, Young adults


This is a published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Rao, M., Broughton, K. S., & LeMieux, M. J. (2020). Cross-sectional study on the knowledge and prevalence of PCOS at a multiethnic university. Progress in Preventive Medicine, 5(2). This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.