Uterine Fibroids and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adult Women's Study

Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, Erika L. Fuchs, Melissa F. Wellons, Cora E. Lewis, Ronit Calderon-Margalit, Elizabeth A. Stewart, Pamela J. Schreiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Uterine fibroids, the most common reproductive tract tumor in women, have been associated with hypertension and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD). Prior studies of fibroids and CVD have examined the subset of women with symptomatic fibroids who undergo hysterectomy, itself a risk factor for CVD. We aimed to study the risk of subclinical CVD, as determined by coronary artery calcification (CAC), carotid intima media thickness (CIMT), and left ventricular (LV) mass, in women with ultrasound-diagnosed uterine fibroids. Materials and Methods: Participants were 972 women from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a cohort recruited in 1985-1986. CARDIA screened black and white women aged 35-49 years by ultrasound for fibroids at 16 years of follow-up (2002-2004). Demographics and CVD risk factors were collected in 2000-2001 at 15 years of follow-up (baseline for this analysis). Women were tested at years 15, 20, and 25 for CAC, at year 20 for CIMT, and at year 25 for echocardiographic LV mass. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of CAC, CIMT, and LV mass. Results: Fifty-two percent of women had fibroids (61.7% in black, 38.3% in white women). Most CVD risk factors were more common in women with fibroids. Adjusted odds of subclinical CVD, such as elevated CIMT and elevated LV mass, were not different for women with fibroids compared with those without (CIMT odds ratio [OR] = 1.03; confidence interval [95% CI] 0.7-1.5 and LV mass OR = 1.14; 95% CI 0.77-1.68), when adjusted for confounders. Conclusions: Although women with fibroids had more CVD risk factors, presence of fibroids was not associated with subclinical CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Carotid intima media thickness
  • Coronary artery calcification
  • Fibroids
  • Hysterectomy


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