Health-related quality of life in women with Endometriosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Health-related quality of life in women with Endometriosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Quality of Life measures compared between women with endometriosis or rheumatoid arthritis

Key Points


  • Comparing the quality of life measures between women with endometriosis or RA yields insight into the psychosocial consequences of endometriosis.

Key Results:

  • Despite similar bodily pain scores, women with endometriosis seem to have lower mental HRQoL than in women with RA, possibly due to the inherent nature of endometriosis (affects younger women compared to RA, leading to infertility).
  • Women with moderate to severe endometriosis seem to have overall impaired HRQoL compared to women from the general population, and poorer mental HRQoL compared to women with RA.

What’s done here?

  • This article compared the quality of life measures between women with and without endometriosis and rheumatoid arthritis.


  • Endometriosis group represented by mostly women moderate to severe endometriosis (QoL measures expected to be higher),
  • A low response rate to questionnaires in the general population subgroup.

Lay Summary

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is defined by the presence of ectopic endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Unfortunately, endometriosis continues to be a leading cause of chronic pelvic pain and long-term morbidity in women of reproductive age. A large contributor to endometriosis-related morbidity are the physical symptoms associated with the disease: dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, and infertility.

This article titled, “Health-related quality of life in women with endometriosis, compared to the general population and women with rheumatoid arthritis” by Verket et al. from the Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, Norway aim to compare the reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL) to the general population and women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA is a systemic autoimmune disease that has estimated to affect 0.2-1.1% of the general population. RA is associated with pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints, fatigue, and significantly reduced overall HRQoL in mental and physical health. Some aspects of both RA and endometriosis are similar. Both are chronic inflammatory diseases whereby pain is the most common symptom. However, the general public’s knowledge of endometriosis continues to fall behind that of RA.

From 2012-2013 women aged 18-45 were recruited into this study. This study included 157 with endometriosis, 156 women who were from the general population as controls (without known RA or endometriosis), and 837 women with RA. Using a specific questionnaire (SF-36), information about HRQoL was collected from each participant.

Compared to the control group of healthy women, women with endometriosis had significantly less mean scores for all SF-36 scales, meaning that overall, HLQoL for women with endometriosis was the lowest compared to the other groups. The largest contributor to this was a bodily pain (mean score 47.6) versus 81.5 in the control group. Additionally, compared to women with RA, women with endometriosis had a significantly lower mean score for three SF-36 questionnaire scales: Vitaly, social functioning, and mental health (33.4, 62.7, and 66.3 vs. 42.7, 68.8, and 72.6 for the RA group, respectively).


Research Source:

endometriosis pain quality of life rheumatoid arthritis chronic chronic pain dysmenorrhea dyspareunia and infertility Vitaly social functioning mental health


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