Healio: Women with circadian rhythm misalignment may be at a greater risk for developing ovarian endometriosis, according to data presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology.

In a cohort of women with confirmed ovarian endometriosis, researchers observed altered messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of clock genes in ectopic tissues compared with eutopic samples, indicating a disturbance in circadian rhythm timing.

“Endometriosis affects roughly 10% of reproductive-age women and girls globally,” Eva Kassi, MD, PhD, a professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School in Greece, told Healio. “In severe cases, it can be very painful and can cause infertility, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. The clinical observation that biological rhythm disturbances, as seen in night-shift workers, are associated with endometriosis is now molecularly confirmed by the altered expression of local circadian clock genes in ectopic endometrium compared to eutopic. Understanding the causes and effects of endometriosis will improve our ability to detect, manage or even prevent the condition.”

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