Hair loss, fibroids and ethnicity — Is there any association?
Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps that grow on the lining of the uterus. It is a fairly common condition affecting women in their 30s and 40s, who develop symptoms like lengthy heavy periods with cramps, abdominal and back pain, painful intercourse, and an urge to urinate frequently. But, do fibroids have any association with hair loss and ethnicity?
Well, it has been a topic of interest for a recent study, authored by Dr. Crystal Aguh, an assistant professor of dermatology at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. It has been observed that fibroids affect around 80 to 90% of Black women in their 50s as compared to about 70% occurrence in White women.
In the study, researchers evaluated four years of data on approximately 4,87,000 adult Black women. Subjects with a specific hair loss condition, known as central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) were included in the study. CCCA is the most common hair loss condition seen in Black women.
On meticulous evaluation of the data, the researchers found the presence of fibroids in about 14% of Black women with CCCA compared to a mere 3% in Black women with no hair loss. Hence, the research substantiates the fact that Black women with CCCA are at a greater risk of developing fibroids.
However, it must be noted that the study does not provide any evidence that one condition is responsible for the other; instead, it highlights a strong association between fibroids and hair loss in Black women.
In a recent news release by John Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Aguh said “The cause of the link between two conditions remains unclear.” But, to probe into the cause of this association, researchers demonstrated that CCCA-linked scarring is similar to the tissue scarring caused by fibroids; hence, explaining the high incidence of fibroids in Black women with CCCA.
From a health care perspective, this research is quite advantageous. Every Black women with CCCA must undergo screening for fibroids and appropriate interventions must be implemented.
The research paper along with the study findings was recently published in the journal, JAMA Dermatology.