Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Endometriosis risk linked to two pesticides

Date:
November 5, 2013
Source:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Summary:
A study has found that two organochlorine pesticides are associated with an increased risk of endometriosis, a condition that affects up to 10 percent of reproductive-age women.

A Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center-led study has found that two organochlorine pesticides are associated with an increased risk of endometriosis, a condition that affects up to 10 percent of reproductive-age women.

Specifically, researchers observed that women with higher exposures to two such pesticides, beta-hexachlorocyclohexane and mirex, had a 30- to 70-percent increase in endometriosis risk.

The findings are published online ahead of the print issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Endometriosis is a noncancerous condition that occurs when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, or womb, grows outside of the organ and attaches to other structures or organs. The condition most often affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes and lining of the pelvic cavity. The most common symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, painful menstrual periods and infertility.

"For many women, the symptoms of endometriosis can be chronic and debilitating, negatively affecting health-related quality of life, personal relationships and work productivity," said lead and corresponding author Kristen Upson, Ph.D., who was a predoctoral research fellow in epidemiology at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington when the study was conducted. Today she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Epidemiology Branch of the NIEHS.

"Since endometriosis is an estrogen-driven condition, we were interested in investigating the role of environmental chemicals that have estrogenic properties, such as organochlorine pesticides, on the risk of the disease," she said.

The principal investigator of the study was Victoria Holt, Ph.D., a joint member of the Epidemiology Research Unit in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

"This research is important, as endometriosis is a serious condition that can adversely affect the quality of a woman's life, yet we still do not have a clear understanding of why endometriosis develops in some women but not in others," Holt said. "Our study provides another piece of the puzzle."

The study was conducted among members of Group Health Cooperative, a Seattle-based nonprofit health care system. The study involved 248 women newly diagnosed with endometriosis and, for comparison, 538 women without the disease.

"We found it interesting that despite organochlorine pesticides being restricted in use or banned in the U.S. for the past several decades, these chemicals were detectable in the blood samples of women in our study and were associated with increased endometriosis risk," Upson said. "The take-home message from our study is that persistent environmental chemicals, even those used in the past, may affect the health of the current generation of reproductive-age women with regard to a hormonally driven disease."

Organochlorine pesticides have generally demonstrated estrogenic properties in laboratory studies of human tissue and adverse reproductive effects in laboratory studies of other model organisms, altering the function of the uterus and ovaries, as well as hormone production.

"Given these actions, it's plausible that organochlorine pesticides could increase the risk of an estrogen-driven disease such as endometriosis," Upson said. "We hope our findings will help inform current global policymaking to reduce or eliminate their use."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kristen Upson, Anneclaire J. De Roos, Mary Lou Thompson, Sheela Sathyanarayana, Delia Scholes, Dana Boyd Barr, Victoria L. Holt. Organochlorine Pesticides and Risk of Endometriosis: Findings from a Population-Based Case–Control Study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2013; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1306648

Cite This Page:

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Endometriosis risk linked to two pesticides." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105081105.htm>.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (2013, November 5). Endometriosis risk linked to two pesticides. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105081105.htm
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Endometriosis risk linked to two pesticides." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105081105.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins