Seventy to 80 percent of American women will develop uterine fibroids by age 50. That number goes up to 90 percent for African-American women, who also suffer from more severe symptoms, and often start at an earlier age.
Fibroids Affect African-American Women Disproportionately
Even with an already high rate of occurrence, African-American women are two to three times more likely to have recurring fibroids or suffer from complications from them. A 2012 study by Harris Interactive feature on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website concluded:
“Multiple lines of evidence suggest that uterine fibroids have a disproportional effect on African-American women. African-American women have a higher cumulative risk of uterine fibroids, a threefold greater incidence and relative risk of fibroids, and an earlier age of onset…In addition, African-American women are 2.4 times more likely to undergo hysterectomy and have a 6.8-fold increase of undergoing uterine-sparing myomectomy. At the time of hysterectomy, African-American women have higher uterine weights, more fibroids, a higher likelihood of preoperative anemia, and more severe pelvic pain.”
Extensive research is needed about why fibroids develop in the first place, why African-American women get them more frequently and with more severity than other races, and how they affect fertility.
Fibroid Awareness Month: The Path to Legislation & Advocacy
Currently, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Georgia and the city of New Orleans have passed resolutions making July Fibroid Awareness Month. Led by The White Dress Project, these efforts continue to expand July as Fibroid Awareness Month throughout the United States.
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