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Strong period pain and excess weight in childhood increases risk of endometriosis, study finds

Date:
March 22, 2010
Source:
Queensland Institute of Medical Research
Summary:
Scientists in Australia have identified a new link between strong period pain experienced in adolescence and early adulthood and the risk of endometriosis.
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Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) scientists have identified a new link between strong period pain experienced in adolescence and early adulthood and the risk of endometriosis.

Researchers from QIMR's Gynaecological Cancer Laboratory have found having strong period pain often at an early age doubles a woman's risk of developing endometriosis.

The study also found that girls starting their menstrual cycle after 14 years old had a significantly decreased risk of endometriosis.

Researchers analysed information from more than 500 Australian women -- making this one of the largest studies of its kind. Information about early menstrual characteristics in women with moderate to severe endometriosis was compared to data from women who had not been diagnosed with endometriosis.

"Although the relationship between menstrual characteristics and endometriosis has been studied extensively, most research has focused on the recent menstrual cycle characteristics of women with the disease. Our research is one of the first studies to look at the factors contributing to the development of endometriosis long before symptoms and diagnosis occur," said Dr Christina Nagle from QIMR.

In a related study last year, Dr Nagle and her team found that being overweight at 10 years of age also doubles the risk of developing endometriosis in later life.

"Our research aims to better understand the signs and symptoms before the disease develops and to help identify women at higher risk. Early intervention will result in better health outcomes for women with this condition."

To date, there is no known cause or cure for endometriosis, which affects 10% of women, causing severe pain and reduced fertility, in many cases. Disease symptoms can be managed through pain medication, hormone treatment or surgery, or a combination of each.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland Institute of Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan A. Treloar, Tanya A. Bell, Christina M. Nagle, David M. Purdie, Adèle C. Green. Early menstrual characteristics associated with subsequent diagnosis of endometriosis. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.10.857

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Queensland Institute of Medical Research. "Strong period pain and excess weight in childhood increases risk of endometriosis, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311101614.htm>.
Queensland Institute of Medical Research. (2010, March 22). Strong period pain and excess weight in childhood increases risk of endometriosis, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311101614.htm
Queensland Institute of Medical Research. "Strong period pain and excess weight in childhood increases risk of endometriosis, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311101614.htm (accessed May 26, 2015).

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