Uterine leiomyomata (UL) are associated with severe reproductive morbidity and are the primary indication for hysterectomy in the United States. A recent prospective cohort study of Black women reported positive associations between intakes of marine-sourced ω-3 fatty acids and UL risk. We examined whether intakes of dietary fat were associated with UL incidence in a 5-year prospective study of premenopausal Black women living in Detroit who underwent serial ultrasound. At baseline (2010-2012) and 20, 40, and 60 months of follow-up, participants underwent transvaginal ultrasound. Among 1,171 UL-free women at baseline, incident UL were detected in 277 women. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association of dietary fat and UL incidence. Intakes of total fat and saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans-fat were not appreciably associated with UL incidence. Intake of the marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid, was associated with 49% higher UL incidence (quartile 4 vs. 1: hazard ratio = 1.49, 95% confidence interval: 1.04, 2.14; P for trend = 0.01). Intakes of total marine ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were similarly associated with elevated UL incidence (hazard ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval: 0.94, 1.93; P for trend = 0.03). It remains unclear whether the fatty acids or persistent environmental pollutants drive the association.
Keywords: ω-3 fatty acids; cohort; diet; fat; uterine leiomyoma.
© Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2020. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.