Racial differences in fibroid prevalence and ultrasound findings in asymptomatic young women (18-30 years old): a pilot study

Fertil Steril. 2013 Jun;99(7):1951-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.02.017. Epub 2013 Mar 15.


Objective: 1) To determine the prevalence of fibroids in asymptomatic young black and white women (ages 18-30 y); 2) to determine other differences in uterine and adnexal anatomy; and 3) to obtain preliminary data for sample size calculations.

Design: Pilot cross-sectional study.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patient(s): One hundred one nonparous black and white women, ages 18-30 years, with no known diagnosis of fibroids or clinically suggestive symptoms.

Intervention(s): A transvaginal ultrasound was performed in the follicular phase in all subjects.

Main outcome measure(s): 1) Presence of fibroids; 2) endometrial thickness; 3) ovarian findings.

Result(s): Of the 101 participants (mean age 24.5 ± 3.5 y), 43% self-identified as black and 57% as white. The prevalence of ultrasound-diagnosed fibroids was 15% overall (26% in black women and 7% in white women). The mean fibroid size was 2.3 ± 2.1 cm. There was a significant difference in endometrial thickness between races, even after adjusting for contraception use and fibroid presence.

Conclusion(s): Racial differences in fibroid prevalence exist even before women become symptomatic. Findings of thicker endometrium in black women could have clinical implications and warrants further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endometrium / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / ethnology
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leiomyoma / ethnology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Uterus / diagnostic imaging*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult