Endometriosis is linked to higher risk for heart disease

The link is elevated in women 40 years of age or younger.
The link is elevated in women 40 years of age or younger.

Endometriosis is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD), especially among women aged 40 years or younger, according to a study published March 29 online ahead of print in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 


Lead author Fan Mu, ScD, and colleagues studied the association between laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis and subsequent CHD among 116,430 women in the Nurses' Health Study II (1989-2009), excluding women with a history of heart disease and stroke. A diagnosis of endometriosis was made using surgical examinations in 11,903 women by the end of 20 years of follow-up. 


When compared with women without endometriosis, the researchers found that women with endometriosis were 1.52 times more likely to have a myocardial infarction, 1.91 times more likely to have angiographically confirmed angina, 1.35 times more likely to need coronary artery bypass graft surgery or a coronary angioplasty procedure or stent, and 1.62 times more likely to have any combination of these events. These findings were independent of family and reproductive history. Women aged 40 years or younger were greater than 3 times more likely to have any combination of the end points, and this relative risk decreased as age increased. Of the association between endometriosis and CHD, 42% could be explained by greater frequency of hysterectomy/oophorectomy procedures and earlier age at surgery, the authors said.


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