Timing of births and endometrial cancer risk in Swedish women.

Ruth M. Pfeiffer, Aya Mitani, Ola Landgren, Anders Ekbom, Sigurdur Y. Kristinsson, Magnus Björkholm, Robert J. Biggar, Louise A. Brinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


While a protective long-term effect of parity on endometrial cancer risk is well established, the impact of timing of births is not fully understood. We examined the relationship between endometrial cancer risk and reproductive characteristics in a population-based cohort of 2,674,465 Swedish women, 20-72 years of age. During follow-up from 1973 to 2004, 7,386 endometrial cancers were observed. Compared to uniparous women, nulliparous women had a significantly elevated endometrial cancer risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.22-1.42). Endometrial cancer risk decreased with increasing parity; compared to uniparous women, women with > or =4 births had a HR = 0.66 (95% CI, 0.59-0.74); p-trend < 0.001. Among multiparous women, we observed no relationship of risk with age at first birth after adjustment for other reproductive factors. While we initially observed a decreased risk with later ages at last birth, this appeared to reflect a stronger relationship with time since last birth, with women with shorter times being at lowest risk. In models for multiparous women that included number of births, age at first and last birth, and time since last birth, age at last birth was not associated with endometrial cancer risk, while shorter time since last birth and increased parity were associated with statistically significantly reduced endometrial cancer risks. The HR was 3.95 (95% CI; 2.17-7.20; p-trend = <0.0001) for women with > or =25 years since a last birth compared to women having given birth within 4 years. Our findings support that clearance of initiated cells during delivery may be important in endometrial carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1449
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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