What Causes Endometriosis In Black Women?
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects more than 5 million, or 10 percent, of American women. The condition occurs when tissue lining the interior uterus walls grows outside the organ. Most commonly the extra tissue affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes or pelvis and can lead to infertility.
How does this condition affect black women?
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The current thinking is that endometriosis rarely affects women from the African origin. However, in African-American women in the USA, endometriosis is one of the commonest indications for major gynaecological surgery and hysterectomy, and is associated with long hospital stay and high hospital charges.
There is also some evidence that endometriosis is more commonly found in African-American patients from private practice than in African-American patients treated in public hospitals.
The Role of Pesticides
Could pesticide exposure be playing a role in these statistics?
Women with high levels of pesticides in their blood are more likely to have endometriosis, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
According to researchers, some pesticides seem to mimic estrogen in the body and may possibly contribute to the development of endometriosis, particularly OCPs.
Pesticides called OCPs (organochlorine pesticides) were widely used in the United States from the 1940s through the 1960s, until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations’ Stockholm Convention limited their use. But these pesticides are still present in the environment today and have accumulated in the food chain. These chemicals were detected in the blood of women, despite their being banned or severely restricted in the…