Human Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and The Risk of Endometriosis: A Systematic Review and Meta‑Analysis Protocol

Maryam Abolghasemi, Sedighe Esmaeilzadeh, Parvaneh Mirabi, Masoumeh Golsorkhtabaramiri


Endometriosis is one of the gynecological disorders and its prevalence is estimated to 8‑10% of reproductive‑age women. In Iran, the frequency of endometriosis was reported at 29% among infertile women. The etiology of endometriosis is still unclear. Numerous environmental contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may play important roles in endometriosis development and etiology. Iranian population has relatively low levels of PCBs. However, no studies have evaluated PCBs levels in Iranian endometriosis patients so far. At present, there is no systematic review of the relationship between only PCBs exposure and the risk of endometriosis. The aim of this systematic review and meta‑analysis protocol will be to evaluate the association between only PCBs exposure and the risk of endometriosis. PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Embase, key journals, conferences/congress research papers, and the references of included primary studies will be searched. Observational studies (cross‑sectional, case‑control, and cohort) in humans that investigated the association between PCBs exposure and the risk of endometriosis will be included. The outcome will be endometriosis risk in association with PCBs exposure. The primary screening and data extraction will be performed by three team members independently and will be judged by opinion with the fourth member. The modified Newcastle‑Ottawa Scale (NOS) will be used for the quality assessment of studies. Findings from this study will recognize the association between PCBs exposure and the risk of endometriosis. Results may provide a new window for identifying the role of PCBs as environmental risk factors in relation to the development of endometriosis.

Registration number: PROSPERO; CRD42019120539


Endocrine disruptors; endometriosis; polychlorinated biphenyls; systematic review

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