Lifetime ovulatory years and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: a multinational pooled analysis

Fu Z, Brooks MM, Irvin S, Jordan S, Aben KKH, Anton-Culver H, Bandera E, Beckmann M, Berchuck A, Brooks-Wilson A, Chang-Claude J, Cook LS, Cramer DW, Cushing-Haugen KL, Doherty JA, Ekici AB, Fasching P, Fortner RT, Gayther SA, Gentry-Maharaj A, Giles GG, Goode EL, Goodman MT, Harris HR, Hein A, Kaaks R, Kiemeney LA, Koebel M, Kotsopoulos J, Le ND, Lee AW, Matsuo K, Mcguire V, Mclaughlin JR, Menon U, Milne RL, Moysich KB, Pearce CL, Pike MC, Qin B, Ramus SJ, Riggan MJ, Rothstein JH, Schildkraut JM, Sieh W, Sutphen R, Terry KL, Thompson PJ, Titus L, Van Altena AM, White E, Whittemore AS, Wu AH, Zheng W, Ziogas A, Taylor SE, Tang L, Songer T, Wentzensen N, Webb PM, Risch HA, Modugno F (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djad011


Background The role of ovulation in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is supported by the consistent protective effects of parity and oral contraceptive use. Whether these factors protect through anovulation alone remains unclear. We explored the association between lifetime ovulatory years (LOY) and EOC. Methods LOY was calculated using 12 algorithms. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) estimated the association between LOY or LOY components and EOC among 26 204 control participants and 21 267 case patients from 25 studies. To assess whether LOY components act through ovulation suppression alone, we compared beta coefficients obtained from regression models with expected estimates assuming 1 year of ovulation suppression has the same effect regardless of source. Results LOY was associated with increased EOC risk (OR per year increase = 1.014, 95% CI = 1.009 to 1.020 to OR per year increase = 1.044, 95% CI = 1.041 to 1.048). Individual LOY components, except age at menarche, also associated with EOC. The estimated model coefficient for oral contraceptive use and pregnancies were 4.45 times and 12- to 15-fold greater than expected, respectively. LOY was associated with high-grade serous, low-grade serous, endometrioid, and clear cell histotypes (ORs per year increase = 1.054, 1.040, 1.065, and 1.098, respectively) but not mucinous tumors. Estimated coefficients of LOY components were close to expected estimates for high-grade serous but larger than expected for low-grade serous, endometrioid, and clear cell histotypes. Conclusions LOY is positively associated with nonmucinous EOC. Differences between estimated and expected model coefficients for LOY components suggest factors beyond ovulation underlie the associations between LOY components and EOC in general and for non-HGSOC.

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Fu, Z., Brooks, M.M., Irvin, S., Jordan, S., Aben, K.K.H., Anton-Culver, H.,... Modugno, F. (2023). Lifetime ovulatory years and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: a multinational pooled analysis. Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


Fu, Zhuxuan, et al. "Lifetime ovulatory years and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: a multinational pooled analysis." Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2023).

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