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Endometriosis affects approximately 10% of women of reproductive age. Characteristics robustly associated with a greater risk for endometriosis include early age at menarche, short menstrual cycle length, and lean body size, whereas greater parity has been associated with a lower risk. Relationships with other potential characteristics including physical activity, dietary factors, and lactation have been less consistent, partially because of the need for rigorous data collection and a longitudinal study design. Critical methodologic complexities include the need for a clear case definition; valid selection of comparison/control groups; and consideration of diagnostic bias and reverse causation when exploring demographic characteristics, medical history, and lifestyle factors. Reviewers and editors must demand a detailed description of rigorous methods to facilitate comparison and replication to advance our understanding of endometriosis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2018.06.001

Type

Journal article

Journal

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol

Publication Date

08/2018

Volume

51

Pages

1 - 15

Keywords

Comorbidities, Endometriosis, Epidemiology, Incidence, Risk factors, Study design, Age Factors, Case-Control Studies, Comorbidity, Endometriosis, Female, Humans, Incidence, Longitudinal Studies, Menstrual Cycle, Pregnancy, Research Design, Risk Factors