A prospective cohort study examining meat and fish consumption and endometriosis risk.


A prospective cohort study examining meat and fish consumption and endometriosis risk.

Meat consumption and endometriosis risk

Key Points

Objectives:

  • To determine whether higher intake of red meat, poultry, fish, and seafood are associated with risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis.

Importance:

  • There has been an increased interest in the identification of modifiable risk factors for endometriosis including diet.
  • Diet may influence endometriosis risk through its influence on steroidal hormones.
  • Red meat has been shown to decrease sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and increase estradiol concentrations.
  • Fish oil has been associated with lower circulating levels of series prostaglandins and decreased inflammatory symptoms, as well as a decrease in dysmenorrhea.
  • Although there is extensive lay literature touting dietary changes to reduce endometriosis and symptoms, scientific literature in the field remains scant.

Key results:

  • 3,800 cases of incident laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis were reported.
  • Women consuming >2 servings of red meat per day had a 56% higher risk of endometriosis compared to those consuming ≤1 serving per week.
  • Women in the highest category of processed red meat intake also had a higher risk of endometriosis.
  • Intakes of poultry, fish, shellfish, and eggs were unrelated to endometriosis risk.

Conclusions

Lay Summary

Endometriosis is a benign, estrogen-dependent, gynecologic condition with a prevalence of ~10% in women of reproductive age. There has been an increased interest in the identification of modifiable risk factors for endometriosis including diet. Diet may influence endometriosis risk through its influence on steroidal hormones. For example, red meat has been shown to decrease sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and increase estradiol concentrations, while fish oil has been associated with lower circulating levels of series prostaglandins and decreased inflammatory symptoms, as well as a decrease in dysmenorrhea. Although there is extensive lay literature touting dietary changes to reduce endometriosis and symptoms, scientific literature in the field remains scant.

In this prospective study, Dr. Harris group from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center investigated the association between intake of red meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and nutrients concentrated in red meats (iron and heme iron) and risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis using data from the Nurses’ Health 125 Study II. 

During 1,019,294 person-years of follow-up, 3,800 cases of incident laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis were reported. Women consuming >2 servings of red meat per day had a 56% higher risk of endometriosis compared to those consuming ≤1 serving per week. This association was strongest for non-processed red meats, particularly among women had not reported infertility. Women in the highest category of processed red meat intake also had a higher risk of endometriosis. Intakes of poultry, fish, shellfish, and eggs were unrelated to endometriosis risk.

In this paper, Dr. Harris group suggests that red meat consumption may be an important modifiable risk factor for endometriosis, particularly among women with endometriosis who had not reported infertility and thus were more likely to present with pain symptoms. However, well-designed dietary intervention studies among women with endometriosis could help confirm this observation.


Research Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=29870739


Endometriosis Diet Meat Fish

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