Relationship of ovarian neoplasms and body mass index

Jason D. Wright, Matthew A. Powell, David G. Mutch, Janet S. Rader, Randall K. Gibb, Feng Gao, Thomas J. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe the distribution of benign and malignant ovarian neoplasms among overweight and obese women. STUDY DESIGN: A review of patients who presented with a preoperative diagnosis of a pelvic mass between 1996 and 2001 was performed; 1,096 patients were identified. Patients were stratified by body mass index into 3 groups: normal weight, overweight and obese. The pathologic findings in the 3 groups were compared. RESULTS: Complete follow-up was available on 668 patients. Overall, 248 patients were obese, 176 were overweight, and 244 had a normal body mass index. A significant difference existed in the pathologic findings in the 3 groups (p = 0.049). Women with normal body mass indices were more likely to have malignant ovarian tumors (35.2%) than were the overweight (23.9%) and obese (25.8%) women. Conversely, borderline ovarian tumors were less frequent in women with body mass indices of < 25 (5.7%) than in the overweight (13.1%) and obese (10.9%) patients. Benign ovarian neoplasms occurred in 20-25% of the women. CONCLUSION: Significant differences exist in the distribution of ovarian neoplasms among women with different body mass indices. Obese women are more likely to have ovarian tumors of low malignant potential, while women with normal body mass indices more commonly have invasive ovarian tumors. Body mass index may be an important factor in pre-operative counseling and risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Reproductive Medicine for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Body mass index
  • Obesity
  • Pelvic neoplasm


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