A Prospective Study of Reproductive History and Exogenous Estrogens on the Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Women

Christopher G. Chute, Walter C. Willett, Graham A. Culditz, Meir J. Stampfer, Bernard Rosner, Frank E. Speizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Among 118,404 female registered nurses who responded to a mailed questionnaire and had no history of cancer in 1976, 191 colon cancers and 49 rectal cancers were diagnosed during 8 years of follow-up. We observed no material association between parity and colon cancer risk; women who bore tour or more children had a risk similar to that of nulliparous women (age-adjusted RR =1.1, 95% confidence limits (CL): 0.6, 1.9). No consistent patterns of colorectal cancer risk were associated with age at menarche or at first birth. Current or past use of oral contraceptives did not appreciably alter the risk of colorectal cancer; past use of postmenopausal estrogens was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (RR = 0.5, 95% CL: 0.3, 1.0). These and other data do not support any substantial effect of reproductive history or oral contraceptive use on the risk of large bowel cancer; however, the possible protective role of postmenopausal estrogen therapy merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalEpidemiology
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Colorectal neoplasms
  • Estrogens
  • First birth
  • Menarche
  • Menopause
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Parity

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