Women with a history of infertility have a 10 per cent increased risk of dying due to breast cancer and diabetes compared to women without fertility issues, finds a new study.
The findings showed that while women with infertility were 44 per cent more likely to die of breast cancer, infertility was not associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer or endometrial cancers.
In addition, women with infertility were 70 per cent more likely to die from diabetes, despite both women with and without infertility having a comparable prevalence of diabetes.
“It is possible that the condition may be an early indicator of either endocrine or inflammatory disruption that over time, leads to long term health issues such as malignancy or diabetes,” said lead author Natalie Stentz, doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
The results were presented at the annual American Society of Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress and Expo in Texas.
For the study, the team examined 78,214 women between 1992 and 2001, who were followed for 13 years, or until study withdrawal or death.
Infertility was reported in 14.5 per cent of the study population.
“The results raise significant questions over the long-term effects of infertility and whether it is infertility itself or an underlying condition that predisposes an individual to infertility that drives these increased risks,” Stentz said.