The effect of acne on cognitive performance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Saideh Mehrabadi,1,* Shahideh jahanian sadatmahalleh ,2 Anoshirvan kazemnejad ,3

1. Master of midwifery,faculty member of sabzevar university of medical sciences, Sabzevar,Iran
2. Assistant Professor, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
3. Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.



The most important symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos) include hirsutism, acne and increased level of androgen hormones. acne is the most common skin disease in pcos. acne is often associated with psychological distress, anxiety, and depression that may impair cognitive function such as attention, memory, executive functions, and psychomotor speed. the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acne on cognitive performance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.


This cohort study was performed on 53 patients with pcos, diagnosed with rotterdam criteria ,and a comparison sample of 50 healthy women with regular menses. the global acne grading system (gags) was used to determine acne and cognitive functions were assessed using the montreal cognitive assessment (moca).


the age range of the participants was 18-40 years. no significant difference was observed between the two groups in terms of age (p=0.23), parity (p=0.13), bmi (p=0.32), educational level (p=0.58), occupation (p=0.47) and marital status (p=0.92). mean scores of both groups regarding acne and cognitive levels were evaluated. the average (± sd) acne score in patients was 11.60±6.89 and in control group was 8.64±6.20, p-value=0.02, which was statistically significant. also, the difference between the average cognitive function scores in patients (22.83±3.4) and control group (24.72±2.52) was statistically significant (p-value=0.002). however, no correlations were detected between moca components and acne in the case group.


the pcos patients showed significantly lower performance on the tests of cognitive function. also, the prevalence of acne in patients with pcos is more than that in normal counterparts. there was no significant relationship between cognitive function and levels of acne.


Polycystic ovary syndrome, cognitive function, acne