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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17764: Neil Bibby (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 July 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how the incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in Scotland and the rest of the UK compares with other developed countries.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 2 August 2018

The incidence of a particular disease is not necessarily captured by routine data collection and this is the case with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). So this is not information that is held by the Scottish Government.

Quantifying the incidence, or prevalence, of PCOS in Scotland, and the rest of the UK, is challenging due, in part, to the existence of different diagnostic criteria. This results in varying estimates in the academic literature of prevalence of between 2% and 26% of women. Expert clinical advice is that it is likely that the prevalence in the UK is between 4 and 8% and there is nothing to suggest that prevalence is any different in Scotland to the rest of the UK. PCOS is more likely to be diagnosed in younger women, women with obesity, women of South Asian origin and those who are more deprived.

We do not hold data on the incidence rates in other developed countries.