A systematic review and meta-analysis on alcohol consumption and risk of endometriosis: an update from 2012

Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 9;12(1):19122. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-21173-9.


Endometriosis is a complex and chronic disease, whose multifactorial nature has encouraged a deep investigation on the role of lifestyle factors. A strong association between alcohol intake and endometriosis risk has already been shown. We aimed to confirm this association, considering the updated literature. 23 eligible studies were identified through comprehensive literature search of PubMed and EMBASE (May 2012-October 2021). A borderline statistical significance was found comparing any alcohol consumption with no consumption (unadjusted OR 1.14; 95% CI: 0.99-1.31, p = 0.06), in contrast with a previous meta-analysis. However, we confirmed the significant association between moderate alcohol intake and endometriosis (unadjusted OR 1.22, 95% CI: 1.03-1.45, p = 0.02), also performing a sensitivity analysis (unadjusted OR 1.27, 95% CI: 1.04-1.54). Our partly divergent evidence reflects the tough challenge of isolating the impact of specific factors on the natural history of multifactorial diseases. Indeed, on one hand alcohol could be adopted by patients as a self-management therapy and on the other, it could favor the disease, promoting positive feedback with inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress. Our study encourages further investigation on the role of modifiable lifestyle factors and highlights the opportunity to adopt them to prevent or at least limit endometriosis progression.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Endometriosis* / epidemiology
  • Endometriosis* / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans