Obesity is one of the leading causes of morbidity affecting more than 30% of the population. Obesity is associated with many medical diseases. Uterine fibroids (myomas or leiyomymas) are benign, monoclonal tumors of the smooth muscle cells found in the human uterus [1,2]. Despite the fact that their cause is still unknown, there is considerable evidence that estrogens and progestogens contribute to and proliferate tumor growth.
The majority of women with uterine fibroids are asymptomatic, consequently resulting in less clinical attention and fibroid tumors often remain undiagnosed.
Uterine fibroid can cause many symptoms including heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, frequent urination, backaches, and leg pain. It also can cause infertility especially if the fibroids grow inside the uterus and change the shape of the uterus.
There are many risk factor for uterine fibroid including:
- Race: The incidence rates of fibroids are typically found to be two- to threefold greater in black women than in white women
- Parity: Parity (having one or more pregnancies extending beyond 20 weeks of gestation) decreases the chance of fibroid formation).
- Early menarche: Early menarche (<10 years old) is associated with an increased risk of developing fibroids.
- Genetics: Studies imply a familial predisposition to leiomyomas in some women. There is also evidence of specific susceptibility genes for fibroids
- Obesity: Many studies reveal a relationship between obesity and uterine fibroids.1
- Adipose deposition: Woman with central obesity produce more estrogen from peripheral conversion from androgen in the fat cell causing abnormal growth of the muscular cell of the uterus.
While many of the causes of uterine fibroid are non-modifiable such as the race, early menarche, and parity; obesity is a leading cause of uterine fibroid occurrence and is easily modifiable. Treating obesity at younger ages can significantly decrease the risk of having uterine fibroids and suffering their complications.
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