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Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2013 May 20;11:47. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-11-47.

Epidemiology of polycystic ovary syndrome: a cross sectional study of university students at An-Najah national university-Palestine.

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Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, An-Najah National University, PO Box 7, 707, Nablus, Palestine.



Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common gynecological endocrinopathy in women of reproductive age. Despite its heavy burden on female reproduction and general health, there is no study regarding PCOS prevalence in Palestine. This study aims to establish prevalence of PCOS among female university students at An-Najah National University-Palestine and to explore its possible risk factors.


A cross sectional study was conducted on 137 female students using convenience sampling method for age group (18-24) years. PCOS cases were identified according to the National Institute of health (NIH) criteria through clinical interview and assessment for participants at the University clinics. Menstrual irregularities regarding cycle and flow were identified and clinical hyperandrogenism was assessed as the self-reported degree of hirsutism using the modified Ferriman Gallwey (mF-G) scoring method of more than 8 score. Biochemical hyperandrogenism for girls with menstrual irregularities was assessed by measuring free testosterone level. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 17 applying descriptive methods; different risk factor relationships were estimated using bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression.


The estimated prevalence of PCOS was 7.3%, acne was the only studied risk factor among others to be statistically significantly related to PCOS patients (OR=8.430, P-value=0.015). Clinical Hirsutism was found in 27% of participants, 70% of whom had idiopathic hirsutism.


Prevalence of PCOS in Palestine seems to be relatively high but similar to other Mediterranean statistics. We recommend further studies using wider age group and larger sample for all parts of Palestine in order to generalize results.

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