Women who have endometriosis — specifically those ages 40 and under — may have a greater risk for coronary artery disease, according to a Harvard University study published in the May 2016 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The researchers examined the data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, which involved 116,000 women ages 25 to 42 who had no prior history of stroke or heart disease. The study lasted for about 15 years, and nearly 1,500 women in it developed coronary heart disease. Those who had confirmed has endometriosis had a 52% increased risk for heart attack, along with a 91% increased risk of chest pain and a 35% increased risk of undergoing heart surgery, compared with women who didn’t have endometriosis.
In the study, researchers noted that endometriosis was linked to factors that also increased heart disease, such as chronic inflammation and greater levels of “bad” cholesterol, however, symptoms of endometriosis typically abated after menopause.
The results infer that women with endometriosis should do as much as they can to decrease the chances of other cardiovascular risk factors, including maintaining a healthy diet plan and exercising at least half an hour per day.