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Hum Reprod. 2004 Aug;19(8):1755-9. Epub 2004 Jul 14.

Selected food intake and risk of endometriosis.

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Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche 'Mario Negri', 20157 Milano, Clinica Ostetrico Ginecologica, Università di Milano, 20122 Milano and Studi di via Fontana, 20122 Milano, Italy.



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.

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