No Significant Link Between Red Hair, Endometriosis

History of infertility, however, may affect association

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to what has been hypothesized, a report in the April issue of Fertility and Sterility suggests there is no relationship between natural red hair color and the incidence of endometriosis.

Stacey A. Missmer, Sc.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., and colleagues investigated the purported relationship between hair color and endometriosis by using data from 90,065 women, aged 25 to 42 years, enrolled in the Nurses Health Study II.

During a 10-year follow-up, which included a total of 379,422 person-years of data and 1,130 cases of endometriosis, no significant relationship was noted between hair color and disease incidence. However, when separated into infertile and never-infertile groups, women with red hair had an endometriosis incidence rate of 1.3 and 0.4, respectively.

"Overall, we did not observe a significant relation between red hair color and the rate of endometriosis, however this prospective cohort study suggests that the relation may differ by infertility status," the authors concluded. "Further investigation into the potential linkage between red hair color and coagulation or immune dysfunction may explain the observed difference in the association between hair color and endometriosis with concurrent infertility vs. endometriosis without infertility."

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