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Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1997 Jun;24(2):235-58.

Epidemiology of endometriosis.

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School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA.


This article summarizes present knowledge about the epidemiology of endometriosis. Surprisingly, little is known about the prevalence or risk factors of endometriosis, given the medical care and employment costs. Knowledge about the epidemiology of endometriosis is hampered by the inability to diagnose this disease in the general population. Based on a single cohort study, it is estimated that there is a 10% prevalence of endometriosis in the general population. Age is the only sociodemographic characteristic for which a consistent positive relationship has been observed. In general, the risk of endometriosis appears to increase for reproductive health factors that may relate to increased exposure to menstruation (i.e., shorter cycle length, longer duration of flow, or reduced parity). The risk appears to decrease for personal habits that may relate to decreased estrogen levels (i.e., smoking, exercise).

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