Obesity and risk of ovarian cancer subtypes: evidence from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium.

Published online

Journal Article

Whilst previous studies have reported that higher BMI increases a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer, associations for the different histological subtypes have not been well defined. As the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically, and classification of ovarian histology has improved in the last decade, we sought to examine the association in a pooled analysis of recent studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We evaluated the association between BMI (recent, maximum and in young adulthood) and ovarian cancer risk using original data from 15 case-control studies (13 548 cases and 17 913 controls). We combined study-specific adjusted odds ratios (ORs) using a random-effects model. We further examined the associations by histological subtype, menopausal status and post-menopausal hormone use. High BMI (all time-points) was associated with increased risk. This was most pronounced for borderline serous (recent BMI: pooled OR=1.24 per 5 kg/m(2); 95% CI 1.18-1.30), invasive endometrioid (1.17; 1.11-1.23) and invasive mucinous (1.19; 1.06-1.32) tumours. There was no association with serous invasive cancer overall (0.98; 0.94-1.02), but increased risks for low-grade serous invasive tumours (1.13, 1.03-1.25) and in pre-menopausal women (1.11; 1.04-1.18). Among post-menopausal women, the associations did not differ between hormone replacement therapy users and non-users. Whilst obesity appears to increase risk of the less common histological subtypes of ovarian cancer, it does not increase risk of high-grade invasive serous cancers, and reducing BMI is therefore unlikely to prevent the majority of ovarian cancer deaths. Other modifiable factors must be identified to control this disease.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Olsen, CM; Nagle, CM; Whiteman, DC; Ness, R; Pearce, CL; Pike, MC; Rossing, MA; Terry, KL; Wu, AH; Australian Cancer Study (Ovarian Cancer), ; Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, ; Risch, HA; Yu, H; Doherty, JA; Chang-Claude, J; Hein, R; Nickels, S; Wang-Gohrke, S; Goodman, MT; Carney, ME; Matsuno, RK; Lurie, G; Moysich, K; Kjaer, SK; Jensen, A; Hogdall, E; Goode, EL; Fridley, BL; Vierkant, RA; Larson, MC; Schildkraut, J; Hoyo, C; Moorman, P; Weber, RP; Cramer, DW; Vitonis, AF; Bandera, EV; Olson, SH; Rodriguez-Rodriguez, L; King, M; Brinton, LA; Yang, H; Garcia-Closas, M; Lissowska, J; Anton-Culver, H; Ziogas, A; Gayther, SA; Ramus, SJ; Menon, U; Gentry-Maharaj, A; Webb, PM; Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium,

Published Date

  • April 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 251 - 262

PubMed ID

  • 23404857

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23404857

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1479-6821

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1530/ERC-12-0395


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England