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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 972726, 3 pages
Research Article

Mastalgia: Prevalence at a Sub-Saharan African Tertiary Hospital

1Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda
2Department of Surgery, Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda

Received 11 July 2014; Accepted 18 September 2014; Published 30 September 2014

Academic Editor: Robert L. Barkin

Copyright © 2014 T. Makumbi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Mastalgia is a common breast condition among women referred to breast clinics worldwide. Whereas the prevalence is known in the Western world and Asia, the prevalence of the disease is unknown in many African countries. The aim of this study therefore was to determine the prevalence and describe factors associated with mastalgia among women attending a tertiary hospital in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods. A cross-sectional study was done in Kampala, Uganda. Mastalgia was defined as self-reported breast pain (unilateral or bilateral) for a period not less than two months. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect the data and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 11. Ethical approval was obtained. Results. Out of the 1048 women who presented to the breast clinic during the study period, 168 (16%) were diagnosed with mastalgia in the absence of breast cancer. Noncyclical and cyclical mastalgia were 22/168 (13%) and 5/168 (3%), respectively. The onset of noncyclical category as compared to the cyclical type of mastalgia was observed to manifest before 24 years of age (). Conclusion. Mastalgia was a common condition among women in this sub-Saharan African setting as is elsewhere. The early onset mastalgia in this sub-Saharan African study requires further exploration for determination of its risk factors.