Objective: To offer a general figure of the available data on the relation between alcohol intake and risk of endometriosis, we conducted a systematic review and a metaanalysis of studies published up to May 2012.
Study design: We carried out a literature search of all case-control and cohort studies published as original articles in English up to May 2012. Only those papers that were published as full-length articles were considered. Pooled estimates of the relative risks (RRs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using fixed or, when significant heterogeneity among estimates emerged, random effects models. A total of 15 studies were identified for the review.
Results: The summary estimate was 1.24 (95% CI, 1.12-1.36) for any alcohol intake vs no alcohol intake. Considering the results of the analyses of infrequent, moderate/regular, and heavy alcohol intake vs no alcohol intake, the summary RR estimates were, respectively, 1.14 (95% CI, 0.86-1.52), 1.23 (95% CI, 1.08-1.40), and 1.19 (95% CI, 0.99-1.43). Three studies reported separate results for current and former drinkers, and the summary RR were 1.42 (95% CI, 1.14-1.76) and 1.09 (95% CI, 0.83-1.43), respectively.
Conclusion: The present metaanalysis provides evidence for an association between alcohol consumption and endometriosis risk. Further studies are needed to clarify whether alcohol consumption may exacerbate an existing disease or could be related to the severity of the disease.
Keywords: alcohol; endometriosis; epidemiology; risk factor.
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