Black women in the U.S. are two to three times more likely than their White counterparts to develop fibroids, a hormone-dependent disease. Some recent studies suggest that Black women are exposed to higher levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals than White women through a range of personal care and consumer products. But few prospective studies have gathered race-specific data on the presence of these chemicals in non-pregnant women.
Now, a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers found that concentrations of BPA and other phenols, triclocarban, and parabens in a cohort of Black women varied by the women’s body mass indices (BMIs) and education, as well as by season.
The study was published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.
“Although Black women may disproportionately be exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and disproportionately affected by some of the health outcomes associated with exposure, this population has not been well-represented in existing research on these chemicals,” says lead study author Dr. Traci Bethea, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and a researcher in BU’s Slone Epidemiology Center.
The study is the first from a team of researchers led by Dr. Lauren Wise, professor of epidemiology at BUSPH, trying to understand the role these chemicals play in the high rate of fibroids among Black women in the US.
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