Why Are Fibroids Prevalent in African American Women?
- Created: February 23, 2016
- by: Leah Johnson
Private researchers agree with government-sponsored research: Fibroids are almost three times as likely to occur in the bodies of African-American women than in any other race of woman in the United States. To what social or medical phenomenon we owe this statistic? The truth is that the overwhelming prevalence of fibroids in African-American women likely comes from a combination of social and biological factors.
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Medical Study of the Prevalence of Fibroids in African American Women
One of the most referred studies concerning the fibrosis condition was conducted by the Fibroid Relief program of the Charlottesville, Virginia nonprofit Focused Ultrasound Foundation. This particular study surveyed 968 eligible fibroids positive women, 28 percent of whom were African-American women. These women had an outsized and disproportionate incidence of fibroids although they were no different from the other women in the survey when educational level, overall health, employment status and number of children were considered. However, the African-American women had significantly less income, were overwhelmingly single and lived in less inviting geographic conditions.
These factors of differentiation were found to be significant in determining whether fibroids developed in a woman. This study, along with other studies along the same lines, showcased that social conditions were a part of why African-American women developed fibroids at an outsized rate. Basically, the stress that came from the lower quality of life that African-American women experienced created conditions in which fibroids were more likely to occur.
Is It All Environment?
African-American women were also much more likely than other races of women to experience the symptoms of fibroids for longer periods of time before seeking medical help. They were more likely than other races of women to try to control the symptoms using over-the-counter drugs. As a result, most of the African-American women experienced a more serious load of symptoms when reporting their condition to a doctor for the first time.
The study also found that African-American women have a genetic predisposition to develop fibroids more often than white women. However, this genetic predisposition is exacerbated because of a severe lack of vitamin D in the environment of most African-American women. Vitamin D is essential in combating the development of uterine fibroids in all women. In short, various conditions of biology and socioeconomics combine to create a much greater risk to the African-American childbearing female population of developing problems with fibroids.
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