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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2004;57(1):40-2.

The prevalence of endometriosis among African-American and African-indigenous women.

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Institute of Primate Research, Karen and Nairobi, Kenya.


Endometriosis is gynaecological disorder, characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. It is the most common cause of pelvic pain and occurs in 20-25% of women with infertility. Although Sampson first described endometriosis in 1927, studies on the prevalence of endometriosis among African women are still lacking. 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 prevalence of endometriosis in African-indigenous women with infertility seems low, possibly due to a different life style (early pregnancy, increased risk for PID and blocked Fallopian tubes) and due to lack of laparascopic facilities and specific training of African gynecologists to diagnose ascites caused by endometriosis appear to be more frequently observed in African-indigenous of African-American women than in women with other ethnic backgrounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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