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Regards to all our listeners!
I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Here is what's new this week in To Your Health - a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM - that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.
Endometriosis significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease among women, finds a pioneering, comprehensive study recently published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The study suggests women with endometriosis may have a 60 percent higher risk to develop heart disease than peers without the disorder. The study, which followed almost 12,000 endometriosis patients for up to 20 years, adds the comparative risk of heart disease is highest for women 40 years old or younger with endometriosis.
The study found endometriosis patients age 40 or younger are three times more likely to have a heart attack, have a greater risk of surgery for a blocked artery or experience chest pain — compared to peers without the disorder.
MedlinePlus.gov explains endometriosis is when uterine tissue grows abnormally outside of a women's uterus. A uterus is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant. MedlinePlus.gov's endometriosis health topic page explains the growth of uterine tissue can occur within a woman's ovaries, behind the uterus, or in the bowels and bladder. Endometriosis may impact as many as 10 percent of women during their reproductive years.
The research, based on a cohort of 116,000 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study II, also suggests endometriosis patients are 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stents to unblock heart arteries and are 1.5 times more likely to have a heart attack.
In a reaction to the study, a physician and co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America told Health Day the findings may not be surprising since surgeries to remove the uterus and ovaries (that sometimes are associated with endometriosis) previously have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. However, the physician explained the current study is the first to find a more direct association over time between endometriosis and heart disease after the researchers carefully controlled for other possible causes.
The co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation said (and we quote): 'The study is strong for several reasons, including its length of follow up' (end of quote).
The study's lead author adds the research also provides new insights about why heart disease remains the leading killer of women in the U.S.
Meanwhile, a succinct guide to endometriosis (from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) is available in the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's endometriosis health topic page. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development provides overviews of the condition's symptoms (within the 'symptoms' section) and treatments (within the 'treatments' section) of MedlinePlus.gov's endometriosis health topic page.
A well-written endometriosis guide especially written for teens (provided by the Children's Hospital of Boston) also is available within the 'teenagers' section of MedlinePlus.gov's endometriosis health topic page.
MedlinePlus.gov's endometriosis health topic page additionally provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. Links to clinical trials that may be occurring in your area are available in the 'clinical trials' section. You can sign up to receive updates about endometriosis as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.
To find MedlinePlus.gov's endometriosis health topic page, please type 'endo' or 'E...N...D...O' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'Endometriosis (National Library of Medicine).'
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