Black women exposed to the highest levels of the pollutant had a 35% greater chance of having non-cancerous growths in and around their uterus compared to those exposed to the lowest levels. The association was significantly greater among women under the age of 35 and those who had just given birth.
Smog Can Be A Factor For Increasing Fibroids In Women With Color
It is unclear how, or even whether, fibroid development is influenced by ozone pollution. According to research author Amelia Wesselink, who is an assistant professor at Boston University School of Public Health, air pollution induces inflammation and immunological response, both of which are linked to fibroids.
The research, which was published in the journal Human Reproduction in May, contributes to a tiny but increasing body of research that suggests a relationship between air pollution and fibroids. According to Wesselink, this is the first study to demonstrate such a correlation among Black women, who are known to be significantly impacted by fibroids.
Between 1997 and 2011, researchers examined three air pollutants in 56 US cities, which were PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns), NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), and ozone.
The research had around 22,000 premenopausal Black women in these cities who were taking part in health research. They were polled every two years and tracked till 2019.
In the 14-years research period, about 30% of participants had fibroids diagnosis confirmed by ultrasound or surgery. The study indicated that the impact of such self-reported fibroids increased when ozone levels in the environment increased, but not with PM2.5 or NO2.
The results remained even when researchers adjusted for other variables that might have an impact on the result, such as other air pollutants, socioeconomic level, access to or quality of health care, and lifestyle variables connected to fibroid risk.
According to Wesselink, it’s unknown why they don’t notice a relation between the two other contaminants. It is possible that an ozone-specific mechanism has yet to be discovered.
Ozone, for example, is linked to the presence of sunshine, as is vitamin D, and vitamin D insufficiency could be driving this relation. The vitamin D exposure was not measured in this study. More study, according to Wesselink, is required to validate the results.
She envisions screening a whole community to track the progression of fibroids over time, rather than depending on the self-reported diagnosis. This would also include ladies with no symptoms.
According to Dr. Jennifer Wu, who is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Lenox Hill Hospital, NYC, not all fibroids produce symptoms, but those that do may cause heavy or painful periods, stomach and back pain, constipation, the need to pee often, and severe pain during sex.Family history, hormone levels, and pregnancy have all been linked to an increased risk of growth forming.
According to Wu, who was not involved in the research, fibroids develop in reaction to hormones and tend to shrink following menopause, when hormone levels decline.
According to her, pollution may be a cause of the development of fibroids in certain women. The good news is that there are several therapies available for fibroids that produce uncomfortable symptoms, involving medications and less invasive surgeries.
Dr. Kioumourtzoglou, who is an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, NYC, described the study as very significant.
According to her, little study has been conducted into how environmental factors impact this area of women’s health.
According to Kioumourtzoglou, who evaluated the new data, air pollution has been linked to lung, heart, and brain illnesses, mental disorders, as well as pregnancy and birth outcomes.
She pointed out that, aside from moving, which is impractical for most people, reducing exposure to ozone and other causes of air pollution can be difficult.Masks are beneficial, she adds.