Endometriosis doesn’t raise fracture risk

A couple of previous studies have indicated that women with endometriosis may not develop strong bones, but a new report shows that the condition does not increase the long-term risk of suffering a fracture.

“Peak bone mass, the maximum achieved as a young adult before net bone loss ensues, is a major determinant of bone density and fracture risk later in life,” Dr. L. Joseph Melton, III, and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, write in the December issue of Fertility and Sterility. “In particular, endometriosis (or its treatment) may be associated with premenopausal bone loss.”

In a large, population-based study, the researchers determined if women with endometriosis had an increased risk of fracture. Using the data resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, the team identified 987 women with proven endometriosis between 1970 and 1989. The subjects were followed-up for any reported fractures.

Overall, 256 women experienced 449 different fractures. The cumulative incidence of fracture after 20 years was 30.8 percent, compared with an expected rate of 30.6 percent for women of like age.

Surgery or other medical treatments for endometriosis did not significantly influence fracture risk, Melton’s team notes.

Based on the results of this study, which quantified the risk of all types of fracture associated with endometriosis, the researchers conclude that “long-term fracture risk is not a particular concern for most ... women with this condition.”

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, December 2006.

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