Does the time interval between first and last birth influence the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer?

Melanie Bevier, Jan Sundquist, Kari Hemminki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Age at first and last birth and the number of children are known to influence the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers. However, it remains unknown whether the difference in years between first and last childbirth plays a role. The Swedish Family-Cancer Database allowed us to carry out the largest study ever on reproductive factors in these cancers. Material and methods: We selected over 5.7 million women from the database. We estimated the effect of number of children, age at birth and difference between age at first and last birth by Poisson regression adjusted for age, period, region and socioeconomic status. Results: The risk for endometrial cancer is negatively associated with increasing number of children and increasing age at first as well as age at last birth. Weaker associations are found for ovarian cancer. Age at last birth is the factor that shows highest influence. A large difference in first and last childbirth shows a protective effect on the risk of endometrial cancer. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the risk of endometrial cancer is significantly decreased for women having at least a difference of 10 years between their first and last birth. Ovarian cancer does not seem to be influenced by the time interval between first and last birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer risk
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Reproductive factors

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