Relationship between obesity and uterine leiomyomata

Nutrition. 1991 Jul-Aug;7(4):251-5.


Obesity is associated with many comorbid disease states including neoplasia. The increased risk of developing endometrial cancer is thought to be due to the higher level of circulating estrogens in obese women. Uterine leiomyomata (fibroids) are also thought to be influenced by estrogens. To determine whether patients presenting with symptomatic uterine fibroids were more obese than the general population, we retrospectively reviewed the hospital records of 144 women who underwent either hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids. Obesity was defined as preoperative weight greater than 120% of desirable body weight (DBW) for the patient's height. In our investigation, 51% of the study population were obese. Moreover, 16% were severely obese (defined as greater than 150% DBW). When compared with the general population of women in the United States matched for height and age, the study population was significantly heavier. (p less than 0.0002). Patient age, parity, menopausal status, and degree of obesity did not correlate with the number of fibroids within the uterus. Fibroid size was significantly larger in nulliparous women (p less than 0.005). These results suggest that symptomatic uterine fibroids may be another comorbid disease state associated with obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Leiomyoma / etiology*
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Leiomyoma / surgery
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterine Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery