Risk factors for prolapse development in White, Black and Hispanic women

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the risk factors for prevalence and incidence of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in whites, Hispanics, and blacks.

Methods: This is a secondary analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen plus Progestin Clinical Trial (E + P). Of the original E + P trial population of 16,608, 12,667 women (78.3%; 11,194 whites, 804 blacks, and 669 Hispanics) were included in the final study sample and evaluated during the 5-year period. The outcomes evaluated were any prolapse (WHI prolapse grades 1-3) and WHI prolapse grade 2 or 3. Descriptive analyses, logistic regression, and proportional hazard modeling were performed.

Results: Increasing parity correlates with increasing WHI prolapse grades (0-3) in whites and blacks but not Hispanics. The incidence of grade 2 or 3 POP increased by 250% in white women with 1 child (hazard ratio [HR], 2.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.68-3.71) in comparison to nulliparous women and grew with higher parity. For blacks, a weak association between the parity and grade 2 or 3 POP was noted only in women who had 5 or more kids (HR, 10.41; 95% CI, 1.38-78.77). Blacks were less likely (HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.40-0.71) to develop grade 2 or 3 POP compared with whites. For grade 2 or 3 POP, age was found to be a risk factor in whites (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; 95% CI, 1.02-1.04) only and body mass index (≥25 kg/m2, <30 kg/m2) in whites (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.34-2.02) and Hispanics (OR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.03-2.02).

Conclusions: White women are at a much greater risk for developing grade 2 or 3 POP compared with blacks. Parity correlates most strongly with the risk of prolapse development in whites and possibly in grand multiparous blacks.