1. Health

Who is at Risk for Fibroids?

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Updated December 04, 2003

No risk factors have been found for uterine fibroids other than being a female of reproductive age. However, some factors have been described that seem to be protective. In some studies, again of small numbers of women, investigators found that as a group, women who have had two liveborn children have one-half the risk of having uterine fibroids compared to women who have had no liveborn children. It could not be discerned whether having children actually protects a woman from developing fibroids or whether fibroids contributed to the infertility of women who had no children.

Obese women in some studies were at increased risk of having fibroids, but other studies failed to confirm this. A lower risk has been found in both smokers and users of oral contraceptives in some studies, but not in all. However, it is important to note that smoking poses far greater health hazards than do uterine fibroids. Athletic women also seem to have a lower prevalence compared with women who do not engage in any athletic activities.

In view of the lack of information on fibroids, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is conducting research on the scientific bases for better diagnosis and treatment of fibroid tumors. It is hoped that the results of this research will enable the medical community to better predict who is at risk for fibroids, what can be done to prevent their development, and/or how to provide the most effective treatment for them.

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Reproduced from the Natinal Institute of Child Health & Human Developement
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