Uterine leiomyomas. Racial differences in severity, symptoms and age at diagnosis

J Reprod Med. 1996 Jul;41(7):483-90.


Objective: To investigate racial differences in the presence of leiomyomas, condition severity, associated symptoms and age at diagnosis between black and white hysterectomy patients.

Study design: This study included 409 black women and 836 white women aged 18 or older who underwent hysterectomy for noncancerous conditions at 28 hospitals in Maryland. Patients were interviewed shortly before surgery, and hospital records were abstracted after discharge.

Results: Overall, 89% of the black women and 59% of the white women were found to have leiomyomas. Among those with a confirmed presurgical diagnosis of leiomyomas, the average age at diagnosis was 37.5 years for black women and 41.6 for white women, and the average age at hysterectomy was 41.7 for black women and 44.6 for white women. The average uterine weight for black women with leiomyomas was 420.8 g and for white women was 319.1 g. Black women were more likely to have seven or more leiomyomas (57%) in comparison to white women (36%). Black women with leiomyomas were more likely to be anemic (56%) than white women (38%) and more likely to report having very severe or severe pelvic pain (59%) than white women (41%).

Conclusion: Black women having hysterectomy had larger and more numerous leiomyomas, and the leiomyomas were more symptomatic than in white women despite a younger age at diagnosis and hysterectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Incidence
  • Leiomyoma / diagnosis*
  • Leiomyoma / epidemiology
  • Leiomyoma / pathology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterus / pathology
  • Uterus / surgery