Carbohydrate intake, glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to risk of endometrial cancer: A prospective study of Swedish women

Int J Cancer. 2007 Mar 1;120(5):1103-7. doi: 10.1002/ijc.22422.


The associations of carbohydrate intake, glycemic index and glycemic load with endometrial cancer risk were examined among 61,226 participants of the Swedish Mammography Cohort who were cancer-free at enrollment between 1987 and 1990 and completed a food frequency questionnaire. During a mean follow-up of 15.6 years, through June 2005, 608 incident cases of endometrial adenocarcinoma were diagnosed. We observed no overall association between carbohydrate intake, glycemic index or glycemic load and incidence of endometrial cancer; the rate ratios (RRs) for the highest versus the lowest quintile were 1.12 (95% CI, 0.85-1.47) for carbohydrate intake, 1.00 (95% CI, 0.77-1.30) for glycemic index and 1.15 (95% CI, 0.88-1.51) for glycemic load. However, among obese women (body mass index, BMI > or =30 kg/m2), endometrial cancer incidence was nonsignificantly elevated in the top versus bottom quintiles of carbohydrate intake (RR, 1.68; 95% CI, 0.86-3.29) and glycemic load (RR, 1.57; 95% CI, 0.82-2.99). In a subanalysis of women who completed a follow-up questionnaire in 1997, which collected information on physical activity, carbohydrate intake and glycemic load were positively related to endometrial cancer risk among overweight women (BMI > or =25 kg/m2) with low physical activity. In this subgroup, the multivariate RRs comparing extreme quartiles were 1.90 (95% CI, 0.84-4.31) for carbohydrate intake and 2.99 (95% CI, 1.17-7.67) for glycemic load. Results from this cohort study suggest that a high carbohydrate intake and a high glycemic load may increase the risk of endometrial cancer among overweight women with low physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates