How Endometriosis Might Affect the Heart

Endometriosis may increase heart disease risk in women

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Women with endometriosis may face a raised risk of heart disease, a new study found.

This study, published recently in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, may be the first to look at the link between endometriosis and heart disease risk, the study authors said.

These researchers studied 116,430 women enrolled in the Nurse's Healthy Study II, in which 1,903 women were found to have endometriosis. Women with endometriosis appeared to have an increased risk for the following when compared to those who did not have endometriosis:

  • Requiring surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries
  • Having a heart attack
  • Developing chest pain

Furthermore, women who were 40 years old or younger were found to face an even higher heart disease risk.

Endometriosis is a condition that affects the uterus. With endometriosis, the tissue that usually lines the uterus grows elsewhere, such as on the ovaries. As a result, patients may experience pain, trouble becoming pregnant and heavy periods.

These researchers noted that undergoing surgical procedures to remove the uterus or ovaries may play a part in the increased heart disease risk.

"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, ScD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, in a press release.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded this research.

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Review Date: 
April 1, 2016
Last Updated:
April 3, 2016