Malpractice News

May 25, 2013

Endometriosis more likely to strike thin women

Being thin is always more healthy than being obese, right? Not necessarily, according to a new study. Researchers with Reuters Health found that “heavy women are less likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis than their slimmer peers.”

Obese patients have 39 percent lower chance

The study followed over 116,000 women of varying weights and BMIs. Morbidly obese patients were found to have a 39 percent lower chance of developing endometriosis than women with normal weights. Endometriosis is a chronic condition where uterine tissue grows outside of the woman’s uterus, causing painful menstrual periods and excessive bleeding. This disease affects over 5 million women and teenage girls in the United States.

Hormone conditions linked to infertility and weight gain

In the study sample, obese women with fertility problems were found to have an even lower chance of developing endometriosis—62 percent less likely, to be precise. Dr. Divya Shah from the University of Iowa said this may be because “women with infertility tend to have higher rates of other hormonal conditions.” These hormone conditions cause the women to gain weight and then have a hard time losing the pounds. This combination of circumstances may help explain the seemingly skewed statistic.

Diagnosis can take a decade

Proper diagnosis of endometriosis usually requires surgery, which Shah said is why “it often takes a decade or longer for women to be diagnosed once they start having period pain.” This pain often makes women feel too sick to eat, which also helps explain why women with endometriosis tend to be thin.


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