Prevalence of genital prolapse in 3 ethnic groups

Catherine A. Sewell, Esther Chang, Carmen J. Sultana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence of genital prolapse stratified by Asian American, black and white ethnic groups in women presenting for routine gynecologic examinations and to screen them for symptoms of pelvic floor problems. STUDY DESIGN: This was a descriptive study of women presenting for annual examinations. Demographic information on age, weight, gravidity, parity, weight of largest vaginally delivered infant, gynecologic surgery, medical problems (including hypertension, diabetes, pulmonary disease, smoking) and menopausal status were obtained from the patient and chart. Pelvic organ prolapse was assessed using the quantitative pelvic organ prolapse system. Subjects completed the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory, which was graded along the 3 scales of Urinary Distress Inventory, Pelvic Organ Prolapse Distress Inventory and Colorectal-Anal Distress Inventory. RESULTS: One hundred sixty-seven women completed the study, including 73 whites, 60 Asian Americans and 34 blacks. The populations differed in that black women had higher body weight and were more likely to smoke, while white patients had lower parity and more use of hormone replacement therapy. Sixty-seven percent of Asian American patients had stage 2 or higher prolapse as compared to 26% of black and 28% of white patients. Multiple logistic regression showed that Asian American ethnicity independently correlated with higher rates of pelvic organ prolapse. There was no difference in survey results by race. CONCLUSION: There may be significant racial differences in the incidence of pelvic floor prolapse, with higher rates of stage 2 prolapse in asymptomatic Asian American women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-773
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Ethnic groups
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Vaginal prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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