Uterine Fibroids in African American Women
- Created: November 21, 2013
- by: admin
Uterine fibroids are relatively common in most women; however, nearly 70% to 80% of African American women will be affected at some point in their lives.
Nearly 70% to 80% of African American women will experience uterine fibroids, benign tumors that cause symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pain and pelvic pressure. While fibroids are common in most women, there has been great speculation as to why African American women experience them at a much higher rate.
Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, explains why she believes fibroids are so prevalent in African American women. Stewart states that most current literature suggests that age, diet, use of contraceptives, and having children are risk factors for women developing fibroids. These factors; however, do not explain the prevalence in African American women.
Stewart continues by referencing new studies that examine a genetic component in the development of fibroids. Researchers in Scandinavia have identified certain genes that may predispose women to uterine fibroids. Currently, these genes don’t appear to be present in African American women and more studies still need to be conducted.
There are many alternatives to treating uterine fibroids as opposed to receiving a hysterectomy. Non-invasive treatments such as uterine artery embolization have been used to cut off blood supply to the arteries supplying nutrients to the fibroids. More research is now being done to understand fibroids and prevent them rather than treat them. By understanding fibroids, more assistance, especially to African American women, can be made available in preventing fibroids from occurring.
Click here for more information about this study, and leave a comment below to share your thoughts.