Why Do Black Women Get Fibroids?

Poor diet, obesity and the use of contraception may contribute to why Black women are three times more likely to experience uterine fibroids.

Posted: 08/16/2011 03:45 PM EDT
Why Do Black Women Get Fibroids?

Researchers have pinpointed new clues as to why more Black women experience uterine fibroids — an astounding 80 percent of women will develop them by their late 40s, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Services.

What You Need to Know

Women who experience heavy periods, cramping, pain during sex, an urge to urinate frequently and even infertility may have a common disorder that affects African-American women three times more often than other women. This condition, called uterine fibroids, occurs when benign tumors grow in the uterus.

According to new data, poor diet, obesity and the use of contraception may contribute to why Black women are three times more likely to experience uterine fibroids.

“Fibroids are most common in women in their 30s through their 50s, but they tend to strike African-American women at a younger age,” said Kenneth Pierce, MD, a radiologist at Loyola University Health System (LUHS) and an associate professor for the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “Fibroids also grow more quickly and cause more symptoms in these women, so it is crucial that we manage them and prevent these women from developing debilitating conditions including anemia and pain-related lost-work days.”

Despite growing research, the exact cause(s) of fibroids, or what makes them suddenly grow or shrink, is still unknown. However, risk factors like obesity, age, poor diet, having children or using contraceptives may play an important role. Also important to note is the fact that, for most women, fibroids tend to stop growing or shrink after menopause.

For more on fibroids, be sure to visit BlackDoctor.org.

 

(Photo: Nikki Boertman/Landov)

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