The impact of race as a risk factor for symptom severity and age at diagnosis of uterine leiomyomata among affected sisters


      The objective of the study was to identify risk factors for uterine leiomyomata (UL) in a racially diverse population of women with a family history of UL, and to evaluate their contribution to disease severity and age at diagnosis.

      Study Design

      We collected and analyzed epidemiologic data from 285 sister pairs diagnosed with UL. Risk factors for UL-related outcomes were compared among black (n = 73) and white (n = 212) sister pairs using univariate and multivariate regression models.


      Black women reported an average age at diagnosis of 5.3 years younger (SE, 1.1; P < .001) and were more likely to report severe disease (odds ratio, 5.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.99-13.7, P < .001) than white women of similar socioeconomic status.


      Self-reported race is a significant factor in the severity of UL among women with a family history of UL. Differences in disease presentation between races likely reflect underlying genetic heterogeneity. The affected sister-pair study design can address both epidemiological and genetic hypotheses about UL.

      Key words

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      Linked Article

      • The impact of race on severity of uterine leiomyomata
        American Journal of Obstetrics & GynecologyVol. 199Issue 6
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          The article by Huyck et al1 presents an important contribution to the literature on the risk factors for uterine leiomyomata. The authors ought to be commended for suggesting a symptom or clinical severity algorithm of fibroids when none so far exists. What the medical community perhaps needs to do is to have a discussion on the algorithm, create a scoring system, and validate such as a score rather than have individual research teams create their own severity ranking. This would allow comparability of findings from different research teams.
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