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Published Online: 30 September 2013

The Burden of Uterine Fibroids for African-American Women: Results of a National Survey

Publication: Journal of Women's Health
Volume 22, Issue Number 10

Abstract

Background: Uterine fibroids have a disproportionate impact on African-American women. There are, however, no data to compare racial differences in symptoms, quality of life, effect on employment, and information-seeking behavior for this disease.
Methods: An online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive between December 1, 2011 and January 16, 2012. Participants were U.S. women aged 29–59 with symptomatic uterine fibroids. African-American women were oversampled to allow statistical comparison of this high-risk group. Bivariate comparison of continuous and categorical measures was based on the t-test and the Chi-squared test, respectively. Multivariable adjustment of risk ratios was based on log binomial regression.
Results: The survey was completed by 268 African-American and 573 white women. There were no differences between groups in education, employment status, or overall health status. African-American women were significantly more likely to have severe or very severe symptoms, including heavy or prolonged menses (RR=1.51, 95% CI 1.05–2.18) and anemia (RR=2.73, 95% CI 1.47–5.09). They also more often reported that fibroids interfered with physical activities (RR=1.67, 95% CI 1.20–2.32) and relationships (RR=2.27, 95% CI 1.23–4.22) and were more likely to miss days from work (RR=1.77, 95% CI 1.20–2.61). African-American women were more likely to consult friends and family (36 vs. 22%, P=0.004) and health brochures (32 vs. 18%, P<0.001) for health information. Concerns for future fertility (RR=2.65, 95% CI 1.93–3.63) and pregnancy (RR=2.89, 95% CI 2.11–3.97) following fibroid treatments were key concerns for black women.
Conclusions: African-American women have more severe symptoms, unique concerns, and different information-seeking behavior for fibroids.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Women's Health
Journal of Women's Health
Volume 22Issue Number 10October 2013
Pages: 807 - 816
PubMed: 24033092

History

Published in print: October 2013
Published online: 30 September 2013
Published ahead of print: 14 September 2013

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    Authors

    Affiliations

    Elizabeth A. Stewart
    Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minnesota.
    Wanda K. Nicholson
    Obstetrics and Gynecology and Diabetes and Obesity Core, Center for Women's Health Research, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
    Linda Bradley
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.
    Bijan J. Borah
    Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minnesota.

    Notes

    Address correspondence to:Elizabeth A. Stewart, MDDepartment of Obstetrics and GynecologyMayo Clinic200 First Street SWRochester, MN 55905E-mail: [email protected]

    Author Disclosure Statement

    EAS: clinical trial investigator: InSightec and NIH (HD063312 and HD060503); consultant: Abbott, Bayer and Gynesonics; scientific advisory board: Bayer Healthcare Foundation; royalties UpToDate, Johns Hopkins University Press, Massachusetts Medical Society
    LB: consultant: Merit Medical, Ferring Pharmaceutical, Endoceutics; speaker's bureau: Ferring Pharmaceutical, Bayer Healthcare; royalties Elsevier; editorial advisory board Medscape; paid writer for WebMD.
    WKN and BB have no disclosures.

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