The health disparities of uterine fibroid tumors for African American women: a public health issue

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Mar;210(3):194-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.08.008. Epub 2013 Aug 11.


Uterine fibroid tumors (leiomyomas) are the most common benign pelvic tumors in women and are the major indication for hysterectomy. Fibroid tumors are more common and more severe among African American women. Although this disease disproportionately affects the African American population, we understand little about what causes the disparity. Fibroid tumors should be considered a public health issue, given the magnitude of the problem and the costs of health care for this disease. In this review, we examine the burden of disease from fibroid tumors in the African American population and review the natural history, diagnosis, and treatment of uterine fibroid tumors, with emphasis on how these can differ, depending on race. We also focus on the socioeconomic burden caused by the disease and describe the anticipated influence of new health care reforms and funding mechanisms for fibroid tumor research.

Keywords: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; disparity; hysterectomy; leiomyoma; uterine fibroid tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / ethnology*
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Leiomyoma / surgery
  • Public Health*
  • United States
  • Uterine Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery
  • Uterus / pathology*
  • Uterus / surgery