Tall, slim girls more likely to develop endometriosis, study finds

If you suffer from endometriosis, your weight might have something to do with it. A study coming out of Denmark’s Center for Clinical Research and Prevention showed that tall girls are more likely to develop endometriosis. 

The study was based on research on more than 170,000 girls aged seven to 13.

Researchers suspect that endometriosis is linked to higher levels of the sex hormone oestrogen. 

Oestrogen increases height in girls but also triggers growth in tissues that lead to the condition.

Girls who had a higher body mass index which made them typically shorter and more likely to be overweight for their size were found to be less likely to get the disease.

The researchers found that high levels of oestrogen trigger growth in height during puberty and is also known to promote the growth of endometrial cells.

The authors suggest oestrogen could be behind the positive association between the disease and being tall.

Endometriosis occurs when a tissue that is similar to that of the lining of the womb starts growing in other locations such as inside the ovaries.

But unlike the womb lining, which breaks down each month and is expelled, this lining does not leave the body. It builds up and breaks down in other parts of the body, and when the blood touches other organs, it can cause severe pain.

More than 176 million women are affected worldwide, the disease reduces quality of life and can cause infertility.

The research was published in the Annals of Human Biology journal.