Relationship between hysterectomy and admixture in African American women

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Most studies suggest that hysterectomies are more common in African American women than in other ethnic groups. To assess this ethnic surgical disparity in a novel way, our main goal was to determine whether admixture (the proportion of sub-Saharan African or European origin in individuals) is associated with hysterectomy frequency in African American women in the Women's Health Initiative.

Study Design

In this retrospective study, we used ancestry informative single nucleotide polymorphisms to estimate admixture proportions in >10,000 African American women from the Women's Health Initiative. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association between admixture and self-reported history of hysterectomy with and without controls for relevant covariates. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to assess the association between admixture and self-reported age of hysterectomy. We also considered other potential risk factors (adiposity, hypertension, and education) for hysterectomy accounting for admixture.


African admixture was a strong risk factor after the adjustment for multiple covariates (odds ratio, 1.85; P < .0001). The admixture risk for hysterectomy was highest for those procedures that were performed in the 35–39 age range (odds ratio, 3.08; P < .0001) and least evident in oldest ages (≥45 years old). Our analyses also suggest that adiposity, hypertension, and education were associated independently with hysterectomy in this population group.


These results suggest that higher African admixture is associated with higher frequencies of hysterectomy and that genetic studies that specifically target African American women and diseases that are associated with hysterectomy may be especially useful in understanding the pathogenesis and underlying cause of this disparity in health outcome.

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