Recent research suggests a link between managing high blood pressure and uterine fibroids. The study found that there is a higher risk of fibroids in women between 42 and 52 years old with untreated high blood pressure. These findings have offered new ways to consider a major influence in fibroid development. The findings also offer relief and hope for Black women who are most severely impacted by fibroid growths.

The Study: High Blood Pressure and Fibroids

Treating high blood pressure may be a way to tackle fibroid development. The study revealed that untreated high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, led to a greater risk of fibroid development in the women in the study. The research found that patients who developed hypertension during the observed period of time had a 45 percent higher risk of newly diagnosed fibroids.

The research, conducted at several locations across the U.S., included participants who were part of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. It is a multi-site study that has collected data from patients since the mid-1990s. This study used 2570 participants without a history of diagnosed fibroids to collect data including blood pressure, fibroid diagnoses and treatment with any of six different types of hypertension medication.

According to the study, 20 percent of women reported a new fibroid development in the study period. Participants with untreated high blood pressure had a 19 percent greater risk of newly diagnosed fibroids compared to patients without high blood pressure. Anti-hypertensive medication treatment proved to lower the risk of a new fibroid diagnosis by 37 percent, according to the report. Blood pressure control using antihypertensive treatment was hugely effective. In particular, ACE inhibitors were the most successful medication for lowering the effects. Patients who used them were 48 percent less likely than patients with untreated hypertension to develop a new fibroid diagnosis.

What Does The Future Look Like For Black Women?

Since fibroids are considered to be a condition without any preventative treatment, these findings are significant. A fibroid is a benign tumor that is non-cancerous and grows in the muscle walls of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are relatively common though still in the process of being understood thoroughly. Studies have shown that 20 to 80 percent of women develop a fibroid at some point in their life. The two main factors contributing to fibroids are hormonal and genetic.

Notably, Black women are disproportionately affected by uterine fibroids. Studies show that Black women are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids than any other group. Additional studies reveal that Black women have the highest rate of hypertension in comparison to other groups. In fact, high blood pressure, as it relates to heart health and strokes, is an alarming risk for Black women. This leaves space for greater discussion about why globally, Black women appear to be the most affected by uterine fibroids. It also allows space for further research about how to support, save and properly diagnose Black women.