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Genetic Link Found Between Endometriosis, Depression

A genetic link between endometriosis and depression is reported in JAMA Network Open this week, highlighting the importance of considering endometriosis pathogenesis from a comprehensive perspective that includes both mental and physical health. Endometriosis is a chronic women's health condition characterized by the growth of the uterine lining outside of the uterus. In addition to pain and other physical symptoms, the condition is also associated with depression and anxiety. To better understand this link, a team led by Yale University researchers examined genetic and phenotypic data on about 8,000 women with endometriosis and 194,000 controls, identifying a specific pleiotropic variant between the condition and depression. "To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale study to provide genetic and phenotypic evidence of the processes underlying the psychiatric comorbidities of endometriosis," the authors write. "This study contributes to the increasing evidence that endometriosis is a systemic disease that affects women's mental and physical health."