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Ovarian Cancer Risk Increases with Height, BMI

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Ovarian cancer is associated with height and, among never-users of hormone therapy, body mass index, according to researchers of the University of Oxford. The study, entitled “Ovarian Cancer and Body Size: Individual Participant Meta-Analysis Including 25,157 Women with Ovarian Cancer from 47 Epidemiological Studies”, is published in the April issue of PLoS Medicine.

The purpose of this study was to bring together the worldwide evidence, published and unpublished, on the relevance of women's height and body mass index to their risk of developing ovarian cancer, and to describe these relationships.

The study's authors collected and analyzed individual data on 25,157 women with ovarian cancer and 81,311 women without ovarian cancer from 47 epidemiological studies. These data were then used to calculate the adjusted relative risks of ovarian cancer based on height and body mass index.

The authors wrote: “The relative risk of ovarian cancer per 5cm increase in height was 1.07 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–1.09; p<0.001); this relationship did not vary significantly by women's age, year of birth, education, age at menarche, parity, menopausal status, smoking, alcohol consumption, having had a hysterectomy, having first-degree relatives with ovarian or breast cancer, use of oral contraceptives, or use of menopausal hormone therapy. The relative risk for ovarian cancer per 5kg/m2 increase in body mass index was 1.10 (95% CI, 1.07–1.13; P<0.001) in never-users and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.92–0.99; P=0.02) in ever-users of hormone therapy.”

Based on these data, the authors concluded that “Ovarian cancer is associated with height and, among never-users of hormone therapy, with body mass index."

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