A prospective ultrasound study of cigarette smoking and uterine leiomyomata incidence and growth
Wesselink AK, Wegienka G, Coleman CM, Geller RJ, Harmon QE, Upson K, Lovett SM, Claus Henn B, Marsh EE, Noel NL, Baird DD, and Wise LA. A Prospective Ultrasound Study of Cigarette Smoking and Uterine Leiomyomata Incidence and Growth. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2023.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
BACKGROUND: Uterine leiomyomata (fibroids) are common, benign neoplasms that contribute substantially to gynecologic morbidity. Some existing epidemiologic studies indicate that cigarette smoking is associated with lower uterine leiomyomata risk. However, no prospective studies have systematically screened an entire study population for uterine leiomyomata using transvaginal ultrasound or evaluated the association between cigarette smoking and uterine leiomyomata growth.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the association between cigarette smoking and uterine leiomyomata incidence and growth in a prospective ultrasound study.
STUDY DESIGN: We enrolled 1693 residents from the Detroit metropolitan area into the Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids during 2010 to 2012. Eligible participants were aged 23 to 34 years, had an intact uterus but no previous diagnosis of uterine leiomyomata, and self-identified as Black or African American. We invited participants to complete a baseline visit and 4 follow-up visits over approximately 10 years. At each visit, we used transvaginal ultrasound to assess uterine leiomyomata incidence and growth. Participants provided extensive self-reported data throughout follow-up including exposures to active and passive cigarette smoking in adulthood. We excluded participants who did not return for any follow-up visits (n=76; 4%). We fit Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between time-varying smoking history and incidence rates of uterine leiomyomata. We fit linear mixed models to estimate the percentage difference and 95% confidence intervals for the association between smoking history and uterine leiomyomata growth. We adjusted for sociodemographic, lifestyle, and reproductive factors. We interpreted our results based on magnitude and precision rather than binary significance testing.
RESULTS: Among 1252 participants without ultrasound evidence of uterine leiomyomata at baseline, uterine leiomyomata were detected in 394 participants (31%) during follow-up. Current cigarette smoking was associated with a lower uterine leiomyomata incidence rate (hazard ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.49-0.92). Associations were stronger among participants who had smoked for longer durations (≥15 years vs never: hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.25-0.95). The hazard ratio for former smokers was 0.78 (95% confidence interval, 0.50-1.20). Among never smokers, the hazard ratio for current passive smoke exposure was 0.84 (95% confidence interval, 0.65-1.07). Uterine leiomyomata growth was not appreciably associated with current (percent difference, -3%; 95% confidence interval, -13% to 8%) or former (percent difference, -9%; 95% confidence interval, -22% to 6%) smoking.
CONCLUSION: We provide evidence from a prospective ultrasound study that cigarette smoking is associated with lower uterine leiomyomata incidence.
ePub ahead of print