African-American women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) have an increased chance of developing uterine fibroids, a new study suggests.
The study, which appears in the December 27 issue of JAMA Dermatology, analyzed patient data from the Johns Hopkins electronic medical record system (Epic) of 487,104 black women ages 18 and over, and the prevalence of those with fibroids was compared in patients with and without CCCA.
Overall, the researchers found that 13.9 percent of women with CCCA also had a history of uterine fibroids compared to only 3.3 percent of black women without the condition. In absolute numbers, out of the 486,000 women who were reviewed, 16,212 had fibroids.
Within that population, 447 had CCCA, of which 62 had fibroids. The findings translate to a fivefold increased risk of uterine fibroids in women with CCCA, compared to age, sex and race matched controls.
Exactly how the two conditions are linked is unknown, however the excess scar tissue that forms as a result of CCCA may also explain the higher risk for uterine fibroids, which are characterized by fibrous growths in the lining of the womb.
Women with this type of scarring alopecia should be screened not only for fibroids, but also for other disorders associated with excess fibrous tissue, says study author Crystal Aguh, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. People of African descent, she notes, are more prone to develop other disorders of abnormal scarring, termed fibro proliferative disorders, such as keloids, scleroderma, and some types of lupus and clogged arteries.
The other authors on this paper were Ginette A. Okoye, M.D. of Johns Hopkins and Yemisi Dina of Meharry Medical College.