Tall women are at greater risk of ovarian cancer, according to new research, and being heavier also ups the chances of developing the disease in many women - but surprisingly body weight appeared to have no impact on women undergoing hormone replacement.
An increased likelihood of ovarian cancer was seen for every extra five centimetres in height. This remained true irrespective of a host of other risk factors including age, menopausal status, smoking, alcohol consumption, family history, and the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The increases in women’s height and BMI over the last decade would have resulted in a 3% decade increase in ovarian cancer incidence.
The research was conducted by the Collaborative Group on Epidemiological Studies of Ovarian Cancer, an international team of more than 100 experts based at Oxford University. Writing in the online journal Public Library of Science Medicine, the Scientists concluded that “the use of hormone therapy for the menopause attenuated the relationship with body mass index, since an increase in ovarian cancer risk with increasing adiposity was found only in never-users of such therapy."