Subfertility May be Harbinger of Disease Later in Life



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San Antonio, TX - Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania today presented research showing that female infertility patients have a higher risk of death from endocrine related disorders such as diabetes and breast cancer than other women.

The study, presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress examined records of nearly 80,000 women followed for as long as 13 years. 14% of the women reported infertility.  Upon study completion, infertile women were more likely to be deceased than fertile women. Infertility was not associated with increased rates of ovarian or uterine cancers. Even though the incidence of diabetes was similar in fertile and infertile women, infertile women experienced an increased risk of death from endocrine-related diseases, including diabetes and breast cancer.

“This is an intriguing and potentially very important study. More work is clearly needed to help us understand if, in some patients, there might be an underlying medical problem that presents as infertility during the reproductive years and then contributes to endocrine-related disease later in life. We also need to investigate if infertility treatments can counter some of this increased risk,” said Richard J. Paulson, MD, President of ASRM.

O-6 N. C. Stentz et al, “INFERTILITY & MORTALITY”


ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. 


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