Women are at increased risk of developing a heart problem if they are diagnosed and treated for endometriosis, said a new study.
Endometriosis is a less popular but much severe condition that affects millions of women in the world. It is characterized by the abnormal growth of the inner lining of the uterus. It generally grows on the outside of the reproductive organ or other areas of the body, including the ovaries and the Fallopian tubes.
‘Endometriosis can elevate risk for heart disease in women and the risk triples if diagnosed under the age of 40 years. Undergoing hysterectomy for treating endometriosis is also associated with a higher risk of heart disease.’
Endometriosis is the most common cause of infertility among women and its prominent symptoms include painful menstrual cramps and pelvic pain.
Fan Mu and colleagues from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston analyzed the data from 116,430 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. Of which, 11,903 women were diagnosed with endometriosis.
They found that women suffering from endometriosis were 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries, 1.52 times more likely to experience a heart attack and 1.91 times more likely to develop angina.
"Women with endometriosis should be aware that they may be at higher risk for heart disease compared to women without endometriosis, and this increased risk may be highest when they are young," said Fan Mu, the study's lead author.
The team also reported that the risk of three conditions increased threefold if the women with endometriosis were under the age of 40 years. Hysterectomy was also associated with higher risk of combined Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) compared with not having a hysterectomy.
"It is important for women with endometriosis - even young women - to adopt heart-healthy lifestyle habits, be screened by their doctors for heart disease, and be familiar with symptoms because heart disease remains the primary cause of death in women," said senior study author Stacey A. Missmer, Director of Epidemiologic Research in Reproductive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Reference: Fan Mu, Stacey A. Missmer, et al. Endometriosis and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, Circulatory: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 2016, doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.115.002224.