Can Endometriosis Cause Heart Problems?
Posted On Mar 31, 2016
A new study out today links endometriosis to a higher risk of heart disease, particularly among women aged 40 years and under.
The data determined that women in this age range are three times more likely to develop chest pain, heart attack, or blocked arteries when compared to those without endometriosis of the same age. Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus, grows outside the uterus.
The study looked at the heart risk for women with endometriosis over a 20-year period. It followed 120,000 women, of which about 12,000 had endometriosis, and found that compared to women without the disease, women with endometriosis were 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries. It further concluded that women with endometriosis were 1.5 times more likely to have a heart attack and nearly two times as likely to develop angina.
Researchers noted that surgical treatment of endometriosis, including the removal of the uterus and ovaries, possibly accounts for the higher risk of heart disease. The study also reported that surgically induced menopause may also be an added risk.
Dr. Tamer Seckin, who is one of a handful of gynecologic surgeons in the United States who performs deep excision of endometriosis and is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi said, “This should be of real concern to doctor’s treating patients with endometriosis.”
Not surprised by the results of the study, Dr. Seckin said that the risks of heart disease caused by the surgical treatment of endometriosis has been suspected for some time, which is why he opts for deep excision surgery. This procedure allows the surgeon to safely and successfully remove the disease and the inflammatory tissues.
“Deep excision surgery is about removing the endometriosis tissue from the body and preserving both the reproductive organs, and any other organs affected by the disease, as endometriosis often grows outside the reproductive tract in places like the bowel and colon,” said Seckin. “Treatment should offer a woman the best chance to regain a pain-free life, lessen long-term side effects from alternative therapies used to treat symptoms, and provide an opportunity for her to have children.”
According to Dr. Seckin, this study proves that removing the disease through minimally invasive surgery gives women the most relief from their symptoms and does not expose them to side-effects that could put their overall health at risk.