Racial differences in fibroid prevalence and ultrasound findings in asymptomatic young women 18 to 30 years old A pilot study

Racial differences in fibroid prevalence exist even in young asymptomatic women. Findings of thicker endometrium in black women warrant further investigation, given possible clinical implications.

Erica E. Marsh, M.D., M.S.C.I., Geraldine E. Ekpo, M.D., Eden R. Cardozo, M.D., Maureen Brocks, B.A., Tanaka Dune, M.D., Leeber S. Cohen, M.D.

Volume 99, Issue 7, Pages 1951-1957, June 2013


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.

Pilot cross-sectional study.

Academic medical center.

One hundred one nonparous black and white women, ages 18–30 years, with no known diagnosis of fibroids or clinically suggestive symptoms.

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.

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.

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.

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