A new study says that there might be a link between abuse and the development of fibroids in African American women. T’he Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University has released a study which claims that black women who reported abuse before the age of 11 were at a higher risk of developing fibroids in adulthood than women who never endured abuse.
The study was published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Lauren A. Wise, the leader of the study, is an Associate Professor of Epidemology at the Boston University School of Public Health.
The study analyzed data from 9,910 black women who’d had not yet hit menopause. The women were asked to describe their s*xual experiences in various stages of life. They were then studied to see if they’d obtained fibroids.
The study found that women who’d been physically abused had a 16 percent higher chance of having uterine fibriods, and those who’d been s*xually abused had a 34 percent higher chance. The results were lower for women who’d found ways to cope with the abuse, supporting evidence that the effects of abuse are mitigated with strong support networks.
“This is the second prospective study to show an association between childhood abuse and uterine fibroids diagnosed during adulthood,” said Wise.
Wise says that much of the connection is driven by psychosocial stress and its impact on hormone development. Additionally, there is the added risk of STD transmission, which occurs regularly during some forms of abuse. In the US, fibroids account for $9.4 billion in health care costs and black women are two to three times more likely to develop the condition.
“Given the high prevalence of fibroids in African-American women, the association is of public health importance,” Wise said.