Study: Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis
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IMAGE: This is Fred Hutch epidemiologist Dr. Holly Harris. view more 

Credit: Fred Hutch News Service

SEATTLE (July 17, 2018) — A large prospective study has found that sexual and physical abuse in childhood and adolescence is associated with a greater risk of endometriosis diagnosed during adulthood. The study found that women reporting severe-chronic abuse of multiple types had a 79 percent increased risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis.

“Both physical and sexual abuse were associated with endometriosis risk, with abuse severity, chronicity, and accumulation of types of abuse each associated with increasing risk in a dose-response manner,” said Dr. Holly R. Harris, assistant member of Epidemiology in Fred Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division. She is lead author of an embargoed article scheduled to appear July 17 in the journal, Human Reproduction.

Abuse has been associated with chronic pelvic pain, uterine fibroids, and hypertension in previous studies, but this report – which used data collected from 60,595 women within the Nurses’ Health Study II from 1989 to 2013 – is the first to show an association between childhood abuse and laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis. Study highlights include:

More than 3,000 cases of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis were diagnosed during 24 years of follow-up. 21 percent

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