Reproductive and hormonal factors and risk of lung cancer in women: A prospective cohort study

Geoffrey C. Rabat, Anthony B. Miller, Thomas E. Rohan

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78 Scopus citations


Several lines of evidence suggest that endocrine factors may play a role in the development of lung cancer, but the evidence is limited and inconsistent. We investigated the association of reproductive and hormonal factors with risk of lung cancer in the National Breast Screening Study, which included 89,835 Canadian women aged 40-59 years at recruitment between 1980 and 1985. Linkages to national cancer and mortality databases provided data on cancer incidence and deaths from all causes, respectively, with follow-up ending between 1998 and 2000. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association between hormonal factors and lung cancer. During a mean of 16.4 years of follow-up, we observed 750 incident lung cancer cases. After adjustment for covariates, parous women were not at increased risk of lung cancer (HR = 1.18, 95% CI 0.94-1.47) relative to nulliparous women; however, there was a modest increase in risk with increasing parity, reaching a HR of 1.42, 95% CI 1.06-1.88 in women who had 5 or more live births (p for trend 0.02). Among parous women, age at first live birth was inversely associated with risk. Women who had their first live birth at age 30 or older were at reduced risk relative to women who had their first live birth below age 23 (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.50-0.93, p for trend 0.004). These associations did not differ by age at enrollment (40-49 vs. 50-59 years old), but were somewhat strengthened when attention was restricted to never smokers. Ever use of exogenous hormones showed little association with lung cancer risk; however, long-term users of hormone replacement therapy were at slightly increased risk. Our results add to the limited existing evidence that certain reproductive and hormonal factors may be associated with lung cancer risk in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2214-2220
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2007


  • Exogenous hormones
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Menstrual factors
  • Reproductive factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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