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Your Environment. Your Health.

Detroit Study of Environment, Lifestyle & Fibroids (SELF)

Closed for Recruitment

Study / Trial Background

More women in the US have a hysterectomy because of complications with fibroids than for any other reason. The direct hospital costs exceed $2 billion per year, not including indirect costs for managing the symptoms of bleeding, pain, urinary incontinence, and reproductive dysfunction. Despite the public health impact of this condition, research on uterine fibroids in the United States has been very limited. A recent study showed that over 80% of African American women are likely to develop fibroids during their lifetime. Twenty percent have a hysterectomy because of fibroids, three times the proportion in white women. We hope to find the reasons for these striking differences.

SELF is the first and only research study of uterine fibroids to use ultrasound screening of women who do not have fibroids so that we can finally learn:

  • Who gets fibroids
  • What women can do to help prevent them
  • When fibroids begin to first develop
  • Why women get them in the first place and
  • How they grow 

Following early fibroid growth is very important because this phase of growth has never been described. It may be different from growth of fibroids after they have become established in the uterus. There are some women whose fibroid(s) never grow to large size, and identifying characteristics associated with lack of growth could identify factors that might be used for prevention. 


The study has completed enrollment. 

If you are an African American/black woman, you may be able to join this study if you: 

  • Are between the ages of 23 and 34 
  • Have NEVER been diagnosed with fibroids 
  • Live in the United States and can travel to Detroit for study visits 
  • Are willing to commit to 5 years

What will you do?

  • A study orientation 
  • Telephone surveys and written questionnaires including questions about family and personal health history as well as lifestyle 
  • Clinic visits in the Detroit area that include an ultrasound examination and other routine clinic activities 

Three follow-up visits with additional surveys about every 20 months. Please keep your contact information up to date

What will NIEHS do?

Participants will receive: 

  • $150–$200 for enrollment activities 
  • $100–$120 for follow-up activities every 15 months (4 follow-ups) 
  • $100 bonus for completing all study activities

Study / Trial Location

United States, Detroit Michigan

Protocol Number: 10-E-N044

Enrollment and Contact Information

For more information please visit the Detroit Study website.

All written correspondence about SELF should be sent to the Operations Center at Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. in Durham, NC.

Mailing address:

Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.
1009 Slater Road
Suite 120
Durham, NC 27703

To contact SELF by phone, please call 877-692-SELF (7353).

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. EST
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. EST

Principal Investigator

Donna D. Baird, Ph.D.
Donna Baird, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator
Tel 984-287-3690
Fax 301-480-3290
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop A3-05
Durham, N.C. 27709
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