Stroke: Women with endometriosis may be at higher risk, according to new research

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Every year there are around 100,000 strokes in the UK. Of these strokes, 38,000 will be fatal say NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) making stroke one of the leading causes of death and disability nationwide. In common with other conditions there are risk factors which can make a stroke more or less likely. While many of these are universal, according to research, some are gender specific.

Endometriosis is one of those gender specific risk factors, according to a new study conducted by the American Stroke Association (ASA).

Publishing data in the journal Stroke this week, the ASA said their prospective study found women with endometriosis were 34 percent more likely to experience a stroke than women without the condition.

The condition increased the risk of women experiencing a heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Senior study author Professor Stacey Missmer said of the study: “Clinicians should look at the health of the whole woman, including elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other new stroke risk factors, not only symptoms specifically associated with endometriosis, such as pelvic pain and infertility.”

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While the findings will be shocking, it is important to note this study is not conclusive, something reinforced by Professor Missmer.

“These results do not indicate that women who have endometriosis will have a stroke. Instead, these findings signify only an association of moderate relative risk” added the professor.

Nevertheless, if the findings of this study are replicated in other published works, it will open the eyes of both doctors and patients with the condition.

In the UK, around one in 10 women say they suffer from endometriosis; however, not everyone knows what it is.

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However, it isn’t untreatable.

Treatments available for endometriosis can help treat the symptoms.

This includes pain relieving medication and hormone treatment as two examples.

The hormone treatment limits the amount of oestrogen the body has as a way to discourage the growth of new tissue.

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