Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: An Academic-Community Partnership to Address Disparities in Uterine Fibroids

  • Marsh, Erica E (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers (B4): An Academic-Community Partnership to Address Disparities in Uterine Fibroids seeks to eradicate the significant health disparities in uterine fibroids amongst African-American women (AAW) and Latinas. Uterine leiomyomas or “fibroids” are well-defined, benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. Fibroids are present in 30%-50% of reproductive-age women and have an estimated cumulative incidence of 70% by age 50 years. Fibroids are associated with menorrhagia, anemia, infertility, pelvic pain, and recurrent pregnancy loss, and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States. Recent analyses estimate the cost of fibroids in the U.S. to be as high as $34 billion annually. We know that fibroids disproportionately affect AAW, with epidemiological studies showing cumulative incidence approaching 90% by the age of 50 years. While there are fewer data on Latinas, the available studies show an increased prevalence in Latinas versus Caucasian women as well. The overall objective of this proposal is to facilitate a partnership between community organizations and stakeholders with ties to AAW and Latinas and an academic medical center that will be empowered to creatively and organically study ways to address health disparities in uterine fibroids using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. The results of this work will be clinically significant, as we currently have limited data on the current challenges and most effective interventions to reduce the burden of uterine fibroids in women who are most affected—AAW and Latinas. Our proposal is innovative in that it proposes initially community-engaged and ultimately CBPR approaches to create a community-driven, and therefore highly relevant, agenda for addressing uterine fibroids. To our knowledge, this has not been attempted to date. We propose the following specific aims to be pursued over a three-year grant period: For Aim 1, we will establish a community-academic partnership that will develop the capacity to conduct CBPR on health disparities in uterine fibroids. In Aim 2, we will identify the communities’ knowledge of and areas of interests regarding uterine fibroids and related health disparities. Aim 3 will focus on the provision of health education and partnership information to community stakeholders on both uterine fibroids and health disparities and will provide education for academic stakeholders on appropriate community engagement. In Aim 4, we will develop a collaborative agenda that will be designed to sustain the partnership as well as identify, quantify, and ultimately reduce health disparities in uterine fibroids via CBPR research. The Proceedings from the Third National Institutes of Health International Congress on Advances in Uterine Leiomyoma Research called on researchers to diversify study populations of fibroid patients. The output from the proposed partnership will provide initial insight into the factors that promote uterine fibroid health disparities amongst African-American and Hispanic women and set an agenda for future CBPR to address these factors.
Effective start/end date7/20/156/30/18


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1R13HD085936-01)


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