Women who have a slim body are at a greater risk of developing endometriosis than women who are obese, suggests a recent study published in the journal Human Reproduction.
Endometriosis is painful gynecological condition where the endometrium grows outside the uterus covering the ovaries, fallopian tubes and bowel region. It affects almost 40% of women with infertility and in the reproductive age group of late twenties to forties.
AdvertisementClinical Assistant Professor, Divya Shah (MD), at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and her team analyzed the data from Nurses' Health Study II that had followed the health record of 116,430 female nurses aged between 25 and 42 years in the USA since September 1989 for almost twenty years.
During 20 years of the study, 5504 women were diagnosed with endometriosis using laparoscopy. The participants answered questionnaires once in every two years, which recorded their weight, height, waist and hip circumference and any diagnosis of endometriosis.
Researches based on their analysis found women who had lower BMI both at 18 years of age and at present were more prone to have endometriosis. This association was more pronounced in infertile women.
It was also noted that women who were very obese at 18 years of age had 41% lower risk of developing endometriosis.
Though a strong relation between BMI and endometriosis had been revealed, the authors state that this finding does not indicate that lower BMI causes endometriosis. The exact mechanisms involved with endometriosis are still unclear and needs more research to identify the cause.
"Our finding that lean women have a higher risk is useful information for doctors when making a diagnosis. It also means that future research can focus on these women to discover the causes, so that we can design treatments that could help prevent the condition developing", opine the authors.