Journal Article

A Prospective Study of Hypertension and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata

Renée Boynton-Jarrett, Janet Rich-Edwards, Susan Malspeis, Stacey A. Missmer and Rosalind Wright

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 7, pages 628-638
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
A Prospective Study of Hypertension and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata

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Although uterine leiomyomata (also known as fibroids or myomas) affect the reproductive health and well-being of approximately 25% of premenopausal women, risk factors are poorly understood. Elevated diastolic blood pressure may increase fibroid risk through uterine smooth muscle injury, not unlike atherosclerosis. The authors prospectively examined the relation between diastolic blood pressure and incidence of clinically detected leiomyomata. The sample included 104,233 premenopausal nurses from 14 US states enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. Participants, aged 25–42 years, had intact uteri and no history of cancer or fibroids at enrollment in 1989. During the 827,348 woman-years of follow-up (1989–1999), 7,466 incident diagnoses of uterine leiomyomata, confirmed by ultrasound or hysterectomy, were reported. With a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, the relative risk of self-reported ultrasound- or hysterectomy-confirmed uterine leiomyomata according to diastolic blood pressure in 1989 and time-varying antihypertensive use was estimated. With adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and reproductive history covariates, for every 10-mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure, the risk of fibroids rose 8% (5–11%) and 10% (7–13%) among nonusers and users of antihypertensive medications, respectively. Elevated blood pressure has an independent, positive association with risk for clinically detected uterine leiomyomata among premenopausal women. Investigating this association may suggest possible pathways to prevent fibroids.

Keywords: blood pressure; cohort studies; hypertension; leiomyoma; uterine diseases; uterine neoplasms; CI, confidence interval

Journal Article.  6988 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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