The following is a summary of “Ultrasound-Confirmed, Age-Specific Uterine Leiomyoma Incidence in a Cohort of Black Individuals” published in the December 2022 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology by Wegienka et al.

For a study, researchers sought to determine the SELF (Study of Environment, Lifestyle & Fibroids) participants’ age-specific incidence of uterine leiomyomas detected by transvaginal ultrasonography.

SELF was a longitudinal cohort study of people who self-identified as Black and were between the ages of 23 and 35. To detect uterine leiomyomas, participants were enlisted from the Detroit, Michigan, region and subjected to up to 5 transvaginal ultrasonograms over a period of up to 10 years. We imputed incidence dates at random between the date of the last ultrasonogram in which no leiomyomas were found and the date of the ultrasonogram in which they were first discovered. To calculate age-specific incidence rates per 1,000 person-years with 95% CIs, they emplo were then contrasted with those of two prospective cohort studies based on self-reported leiomyoma diagnoses: the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) and the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II).

Over 1,693 people in the group finished a baseline interview and ultrasonogram. They disqualified 60 people who had just a baseline ultrasonogram, 385 (22.7%) participants who had leiomyomas found at baseline, and seven participants whose ultrasonograms had low quality. The total incidence rate among the remaining 1,241 individuals was 53.9 cases per 1,000 person-years (95% CI 48.6-59.6). Younger than 30 years: 49.7, 95% CI 40.9-59.9; 30-34 years: 55.2, 95% CI 47.0-64.3; and 35-39 years: 58.2, 95% CI 47.3-70.9. The incidence rates were broken down by age groups (cases/1,000 person-years). The incidence rate in SELF was more than twice as high as that in the BWHS or NHS II among persons under the age of 30.

The prospective ultrasound-based study’s high age-specific leiomyoma incidence rates suggested that many young Black people with leiomyomas went untreated. The findings implied that patients who exhibit symptoms suggestive of leiomyomas may benefit from ultrasonography screening (eg, heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia, pelvic pain).