NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients with polycystic ovary syndrome is high and warrants routine screening and aggressive treatment of mental health disorders in this population, investigators report in the January issue of Fertility and Sterility.

In a previous study, Dr. Anuja Dokras, at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues identified high rates of depression (35%) among women with PCOS, substantially higher than the 10.7% rate among control subjects. The current report is a follow-up study among the same cohort to determine the persistence of mood disorders and conversion risk for depression.

Sixty of the original 103 subjects participated in the second survey, at an average of 22 months after the first survey.

Prevalence rates were 40% for depression, 15% for panic syndrome or other anxiety disorder, and 23% for binge-eating disorder. Thirty-four (57%) of study subjects were affected by at least one mental health disorder.

The authors note that there were 11 new cases of depression (19% conversion). Of the 20 subjects with depression at the time of the first study, 5 (25%) again screened positive for major depressive disorder despite ongoing treatment.