New Study Links Endometriosis To Higher Risk Of Heart Disease

New Study Links Endometriosis To Higher Risk Of Heart Disease

New York, NY, March 29, 2016 –  A new study out today is linking endometriosis to a higher risk of heart disease, particularly among women aged 40 years and under.  The data shows that women in this age bracket are three times more likely to develop heart attack, chest pain or blocked arteries when compared to those without endometriosis of the same age.  “This should be of real concern to doctor’s treating patients with endometriosis,” said Dr. Tamer Seckin, one of a handful of gynecologic surgeons in the United States who performs deep excision of endometriosis and is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi.

The study, published today in the Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association Journal, looked at the heart risk for women with endometriosis over a 20-year period.  The study followed 120,000 women, of which about nearly 12,000 had endometriosis and found that compared to women without endometriosis women with endometriosis were 1.35 times more likely to need surgery or stenting to open blocked arteries, 1.52 times more likely to have a heart attack and nearly two times as likely to develop angina. 

“Studies on endometriosis are greatly needed, and I am pleased to see this research supported by the National Institute of Health,” said Seckin.  Dr. Stacey Missmer, director of epidemiologic research and reproductive medicine at Brigham's Women's Hospital, who co-authored the study, spoke last year at the EFA’s 6th annual medical conference held in New York City.

According to the study, researchers noted that surgical treatment of endometriosis including the removal of the uterus and ovaries possibly accounts for the higher risk of heart disease.  Seckin says this has been suspected for some time and is not a surprise to him.   The study also reported that surgically induced menopause before natural menopause may also be an added risk.

The peer-reviewed paper also says that there is a specific and meaningful correlation between endometriosis and coronary heart disease.  Seckin believes this may be due to the confounding systemic inflammation and chronic stress and pain. That is why he opts for deep excision surgery.   Excision allows the surgeon to safely and successfully remove the disease and the inflammatory tissues.  

“Deep excision surgery is about removing the endometriosis tissue from the body and preserving both the reproductive organs and any other organs affected by the disease, as endometriosis often grows outside the reproductive tract in places like the bowel and colon,” said Seckin. “Treatment should offer a woman the best chance to regain a pain-free life, lessen long-term side effects from alternative therapies used to treat symptoms, and provide an opportunity for her to have children.”  

Alternative therapies can include the use of oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy and painkillers for treating patients with endometriosis.  The study did account for oral contraceptive and hormone replacement exposure but could not evaluate details of other hormonal treatments or the use of painkillers.

While he is busy advocating that the reproductive organs not be removed during endometriosis treatment, Seckin also expresses concerns about the dangers of long-term usage of hormones and pain medications.  “These therapies have their risks,” he added.  “Whether-or-not heart disease is one of these dangers, or the disease itself is the cause has still to be determined, but this study tells us something is increasing the risk for heart disease in women with endometriosis.” 

Seckin said that the study convinces him that removing the disease through minimally invasive surgery gives women the most relief from their symptoms and does not expose them to side-effects that could put their overall health at risk.

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Tamer Seckin, MD, is an endometriosis specialist and surgeon in private practice in New York at Lenox Hill Hospital.  He is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with Padma Lakshmi.  The EFA mission is to increase disease recognition, provide advocacy, facilitate expert surgical training, and fund landmark endometriosis research.  Dr. Seckin is the author of The Doctor Will See You Now; Recognizing and Treating Endometriosispublished March 2016 by Turner Publishing.

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Patient Reviews

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  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…

  • Wilfredo Reyes

    Dr. Seckin literally gave my wife her life back. I am eternally grateful to him for his generous, determined spirit to see that Melanie finally live free from the prison bonds of Endometriosis.

  • Carla

    I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…

  • Melissa Boudreau

    When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me. I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…

  • Jaclyn Harte

    Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis. This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…

  • Megan Rafael Moreno

    I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…

  • Nancy Costa

    Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…

  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…