Endometriosis is linked with the most common autoimmune diseases


Endometriosis is linked with the most common autoimmune diseases

A significantly higher prevalence of autoimmune diseases were found in women with endometriosis than in women not affected by endometriosis

Key Points

Highlights:

  • The study reports an association between endometriosis and some autoimmune disorders.
  • This association supports the hypothesis of possible autoimmune pathogenesis of endometriosis.

Importance:

  • The correlation between endometriosis and autoimmune diseases was unclear with few and conflicting available data in the literature.
  • Establishing whether these two conditions are linked would be helpful for physicians to consider the coexistence of other comorbid conditions in women with endometriosis.

What’s done here?

  • A retrospective study to evaluate the prevalence of autoimmune diseases in women with endometriosis in comparison to the control group.

Key results:

  • Among the autoimmune diseases considered in this study, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, and autoimmune thyroiditis showed a significant correlation with endometriosis.
  • No such linkage was found for inflammatory bowel disease.

Limitations of the study:

  • Small sample size.
  • Further studies are needed to confirm the findings of this study.

Lay Summary

How endometriosis develops is not completely clear, but the involvement of the immune system has been heavily suggested. Women with endometriosis share some common autoimmune disorders, therefore, a potential link between autoimmune diseases and endometriosis has been investigated over the last 20 years, but the available data are conflicting.

To provide a new insights into the possible connection between endometriosis and the autoimmune diseases, this study by Porpora et al., from Benedetti Panici group, investigated the prevalence of some of the most frequent autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), celiac disease (CD), autoimmune thyroid diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) among Italian women with endometriosis compared to a control group not affected by endometriosis.

This retrospective study, recently published in the journal "Gynecologic Endocrinology", included 148 women with endometriosis (case group) and 150 controls. All women were aged between 18 and 45, and the case group included women with varying degrees of endometriosis.

SLE was found in eight patients in the case group, while only one was found in the control group. Fifteen women in the case group were affected by CD, while the disease was present only in one woman in the control group. A significant correlation was also found between endometriosis and autoimmune thyroiditis: 80 patients with endometriosis had thyroid diseases versus 14 patients in the control group. No significant difference between case and control groups was found for IBD.

Overall, this study reports an association between endometriosis and autoimmune disorders, showing a higher prevalence of autoimmune diseases in women affected by endometriosis. However, the underlying mechanisms of this association are still unclear and require further investigations.

The main limitation of the study is the small sample size; therefore, further studies are required to confirm the association between autoimmune diseases and endometriosis. Although with limited power, the results support possible autoimmune pathogenesis of endometriosis. In addition, establishing correlations between endometriosis and other diseases is helpful in the clinic for physicians to consider the coexistence of other comorbid conditions in women affected by endometriosis.


Research Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31476950


autoimmune diseases lupus celiac disease inflammatory bowel disease thyroiditis

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