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Women Under 40 with Endometriosis at Higher Risk of Heart Disease

Women Under 40 with Endometriosis at Higher Risk of Heart DiseaseA recent study published in the American Heart Association (AHA) Journal has found that women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with endometriosis are disproportionately at risk for heart disease.  Endometriosis is a chronic and painful condition that affects women's reproductive organs.  The AHA study has shown that women with this condition are three (3) times as likely to develop heart attack, chest pain, or need treatment for blocked arteries, compared to women without endometriosis.  Researchers who have contributed to the AHA study do not think this is a coincidence.  Notably, Dr. Stacey Missimer, the Director of Epidemiologic Research and Reproductive Medicine at Brigham Women's Hospital, who co-authored the AHA study explained, “we know that women with endometriosis have systemic inflammation, they have a poor oxidative stress profile, they also may have a difference in their lipid profile and their cholesterol levels . . . all of which can increase their risk for cardiovascular disease.”  At least ten (10) percent of women at a reproductive age suffer from endometriosis.  Symptoms can include painful menstrual cycles, lower abdominal pain during menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, lower back pain, discomfort with bowel movements, and has also been linked to problems with fertility.  However, some women have no symptoms at all.  Therefore, it is imperative that women undergo yearly gynecological exams and report any concerning symptoms to their physician.