DIANA EVELYN HOUSTON, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The primary objectives of the study were to measure the incidence of pelvic endometriosis among white females of reproductive age (15-49 years) in Rochester, Minnesota, during the period 1970-1979 and to determine the risk of endometriosis by age, marital status, nun status, and educational attainment in this population. An historical prospective design was used. Incident (newly diagnosed) cases were identified from community medical records, and person-years of risk in the study population were estimated from census data. Almost two-thirds of the incident cases had surgically verified endometriosis, while the remainder were diagnosed by clinical findings alone. Incidence rates were prepared first with histologically confirmed cases only and then with the successive inclusion of less certain cases: surgically visualized, clinically probable, and clinically possible. On this basis, overall incidence rates were 108.8 to 246.9 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 person-years. The incidence of pelvic endometriosis was lowest for women 15-19 years of age, increased markedly through age 44, and then declined for women 45-49 years of age. A significantly greater risk of pelvic endometriosis in never married women was detected only when the numerator was limited to histologically confirmed cases. Among never married women 20-49 years of age, no significant difference in the risk of pelvic endometriosis by nun status was detected, but a trend toward a lower incidence in nuns was observed. Women with education beyond high school had a significantly higher incidence of endometriosis than women with less education. Cases in the four diagnostic groups differed greatly by age and marital status but were similar with respect to virtually all other characteristics, once age differences were considered. Reproductive history characteristics described included: age of menarche; history of menopause; total pregnancies; ages of first pregnancy, marriage, and sexual intercourse; years from menarche to first intercourse; years of ovulatory cycling; difficulty becoming pregnant; and delay of the first pregnancy by choice. How these characteristics of incident cases differ from those of women free of endometriosis needs to be studied in future research.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

HOUSTON, DIANA EVELYN, "THE INCIDENCE OF PELVIC ENDOMETRIOSIS IN ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA, 1970-1979" (1985). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8601795.