Endometriosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Could There Be a Link?By: Özge Özkaya - Aug 13, 2021
Study suggests yes.
- Patients with endometriosis have a higher risk of also having rheumatoid arthritis.
- Rheumatologists should be mindful of endometriosis when treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
What's done here:
- Researchers conducted a 14-year, nationwide, population-based, retrospective cohort study to analyze the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with endometriosis.
- Patients with endometriosis, aged 45 and above with autoimmune disease have a significantly higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- The non-endometriosis group in this study may have been underdiagnosed due to the difficulty in diagnosing the disease and some patients with symptoms not seeking medical consultation, leading to possible bias.
This finding suggests that rheumatologists should be especially mindful of the possibility of underlying endometriosis when treating women with rheumatoid arthritis.
The molecular mechanism of how rheumatoid arthritis and endometriosis may be linked remains unknown. But what is known is that both diseases are inflammatory in nature. It is also thought that autoimmunity, like in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, may also play a role in endometriosis.
In order to identify a possible relationship between the two conditions, a team of researchers from Taiwan led by Dr. James Cheng-Chung Wei conducted a 14-year, nationwide, population-based, retrospective cohort study analyzing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with endometriosis.
Using data from the longitudinal health insurance database 2000, the researchers investigated the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis among endometriosis patients.
They found that patients with endometriosis, ages 45 and above with autoimmune disease had a significantly higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The risk of rheumatoid arthritis was also higher in patients with endometriosis compared to those without the disease when the data was arranged by age, presence of other diseases, and the use of medication.
Patients with endometriosis have a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers concluded. “In the clinical management of patients with [rheumatoid arthritis], rheumatologists should be especially mindful of the possibility of underlying endometriosis,” they wrote.
Research Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33331948/
rheumatoid arthritis risk of endometriosis autoimmune disease