Uterine-fibroid risk higher in women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia

01/05/2018

By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Black women with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) are at increased risk for developing uterine leiomyomas (ULs), according to a retrospective study.

“Fibroids are known to be more common in black women, but this study shows that it may be up to five times more common in black women suffering from CCCA than in black women without CCCA,” Dr. Crystal Aguh of Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore told Reuters Health.

“CCCA is the most common form of permanent, scarring hair loss in black women, and to our knowledge this is the first time that an association has been noted between these two conditions. We believe that the fact that both are related to excess scarring and fibrous tissue deposition may reflect similarities in how they both develop, but this is still unknown,” Dr. Aguh said by email.

Among more than 487,000 black women seen at Johns Hopkins Hospital during a four-year period, Dr. Aguh's team identified 447 women (0.09%) with a medical history of CCCA; 13.9% of the women with CCCA had a history of ULs (62 of 447) compared with 3.3% of women without CCCA (16,212 of 486,657; odds ratio, 4.68; P<0.001).

In a research letter online December 27 in JAMA Dermatology, the researchers note that their findings are based on retrospective data from a single center “and thus may not be applicable to the general population.”

They also note that the data may underrepresent the burden of ULs in patients with CCCA because the women identified as having CCCA represent only those who sought evaluation for hair loss. “Because ULs are often asymptomatic and may go undiagnosed, this study likely captures only patients with symptomatic ULs,” they write.

Dr. Aguh told Reuters Health, “Physicians should screen their patients with CCCA for symptoms of fibroids such as painful menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, unexplained anemia or difficulty conceiving. In those patients who may not know they have fibroids, early recognition that allows for treatment will be especially beneficial.”

She also said “larger studies are warranted to help us fully understand how these two conditions are connected.”

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2CsiJwp

JAMA Dermatol 2017.

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