Selected food intake and risk of endometriosis

Hum Reprod. 2004 Aug;19(8):1755-9. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deh395. Epub 2004 Jul 14.


Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: This study suggests a link between diet and risk of endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Eating*
  • Endometriosis / diet therapy*
  • Endometriosis / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Food*
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Meat
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables