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Endometriosis Linked to Increased Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 20, 2011

Endometriosis Linked to Increased Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Women with endometriosis face increased risk for a subsequent diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a study published in Gut.

Using a national Danish database, researchers examined outcomes among some 38,000 women who were diagnosed with endometriosis from 1977 through 2007. During an average follow-up of 13 years, 228 women were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and 92 with Crohn disease — corresponding to risk increases of 50% and 60%, respectively, compared with the general population. The association between endometriosis and IBD was apparent even 20 years after the diagnosis of endometriosis.

The authors say the observed association "may be explained by shared immunological features between endometriosis and IBD, or it may reflect a hitherto little appreciated impact of endometriosis treatment on future risk of IBD."

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