Background: Women with endometriosis may also have associated disorders related to autoimmune dysregulation or pain. This study examined whether the prevalence of autoimmune, chronic pain and fatigue and atopic disorders is higher in women with endometriosis than in the general female population.
Methods and results: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 1998 by the Endometriosis Association of 3680 USA members with surgically diagnosed endometriosis. Almost all responders had pain (99%), and many reported infertility (41%). Compared with published rates in the general USA female population, women with endometriosis had higher rates of hypothyroidism (9.6 versus 1.5%, P < 0.0001), fibromyalgia (5.9 versus 3.4%, P < 0.0001), chronic fatigue syndrome (4.6 versus 0.03%, P < 0.0001), rheumatoid arthritis (1.8 versus 1.2%, P = 0.001), systemic lupus erythematosus (0.8 versus 0.04%, P < 0.0001), Sjögren's syndrome (0.6 versus 0.03%, P < 0.0001) and multiple sclerosis (0.5 versus 0.07%, P < 0.0001), but not hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Allergies and asthma were more common among women with endometriosis alone (61%, P < 0.001 and 12%, P < 0.001 respectively) and highest in those with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (88%, P < 0.001 and 25%, P < 0.001 respectively) than in the USA female population (18%, P < 0.001 and 5%, P < 0.001 respectively).
Conclusions: Hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, allergies and asthma are all significantly more common in women with endometriosis than in women in the general USA population.