By staff writers

March 29, 2016 -- Women with endometriosis may be at higher risk for heart disease, according to a study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital reviewed records of 116,430 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. Endometriosis was diagnosed in 11,903 women by the end of the study's 20-year follow-up period.

Compared to women without endometriosis, those with the condition were 1.52 times more likely to have a heart attack, 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries, and 1.91 times more likely to develop angina, lead author Fan Mu, ScD, and colleagues found.

In addition, younger women were more at risk: those 40 years and younger were three times as likely to have a heart attack, to need treatment for blocked arteries, or to experience angina, the researchers wrote (Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes, March 29, 2016).

The removal of the uterus or ovaries, which is the surgical treatment for endometriosis, may account for this increased risk of heart disease, according to Mu and colleagues.

"Women with endometriosis should be aware that they may be at higher risk for heart disease compared to women without [the disease], and this increased risk may be highest when they are young," Mu said in a statement released by the American Heart Association.

Copyright © 2016

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