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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Sep 14. pii: S0002-9378(19)31115-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2019.09.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Dairy consumption during adolescence and endometriosis risk.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Houston IVF, Houston, Texas, United States.
2
Program in Epidemiology, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, United States; Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States. Electronic address: hharris@fredhutch.org.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
4
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Dana-Farber Children's Cancer Care, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
5
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Modifiable risk factors such as diet may be important in both the etiology and progression of endometriosis as well as the prevalence of pain symptoms and infertility associated with this condition. In adults, higher intake of dairy has been associated with lower risk of endometriosis diagnosis. There is currently no literature on whether dairy intake during adolescence - a potentially critical window of exposure - influences endometriosis risk.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the association between consumption of dairy foods in adolescence and risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis.

STUDY DESIGN:

A prospective cohort study, the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII), which has prospectively collected data since 1989. In 1998, when participants were ages 34 to 51, they completed a 124-item food frequency questionnaire about their high school diet (HS-FFQ). Cases were defined as those who self-reported laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between dairy foods and laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis.

RESULTS:

Among women who completed the HS-FFQ in 1998, 581 cases of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis were diagnosed among 32 868 premenopausal women from 1998 to 2013. Women who consumed more than four servings/day of dairy foods during adolescence had a 32% lower risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis during adulthood (95% CI=0.47-0.96; ptrend=0.04) compared to women consuming one or fewer servings/day. The association was similar for low-fat and high-fat dairy foods. Yogurt and ice cream consumption, specifically, were associated with a lower risk of endometriosis. Those who consumed two or more servings of yogurt per week as an adolescent had a 29% lower risk of endometriosis diagnosis (95% CI=0.52-0.97; Ptrend=0.02) compared to those consuming less than one serving per week. In addition, women who consumed one or more servings/day of ice cream per day during adolescence had a 38% lower risk of endometriosis diagnosis (95% CI=0.40-0.94; Ptrend=0.20) compared to those consuming less than one serving per week.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that dairy consumption, specifically yogurt and ice cream intake, in adolescence may reduce the risk of subsequent endometriosis diagnosis. Future studies in adolescent populations are needed to confirm these results.

KEYWORDS:

adolescence; dairy; diet; endometriosis; ice cream; yogurt

PMID:
31526789
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2019.09.010

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