To offer data on the relationship between diet and risk of pelvic endometriosis, we analysed data collected in the framework of two case-control studies.
Data from two case-control studies conducted in Northern Italy between 1984 and 1999 were combined. Cases were 504 women aged < 65 years (median age 33 years, range 20-65) with a laparoscopically confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis, admitted to a network of obstetrics and gynaecology departments in Milan, Brescia and Pavia. Controls were 504 women (median age 34 years, range 20-61) admitted for acute non-gynaecological, non-hormonal, non-neoplastic conditions.
Compared to women in the lowest tertile of intake, a significant reduction in risk emerged for higher intake of green vegetables [odds ratio (OR) = 0.3 for the highest tertile of intake] and fresh fruit (OR = 0.6), whereas an increase in risk was associated with high intake of beef and other red meat (OR = 2.0) and ham (OR = 1.8). Consumption of milk, liver, carrots, cheese, fish and whole-grain foods, as well as coffee and alcohol consumption, were not significantly related to endometriosis.
This study suggests a link between diet and risk of endometriosis.