Age at menarche and endometrial cancer risk: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies

Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 11;5:14051. doi: 10.1038/srep14051.


Evidence between age at menarche and endometrial cancer risk have been controversial. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies to analyze the aforementioned association. Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed and EMBASE databases until the end of June 2015. A random-effects model was used to estimate summary relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between menarcheal age and endometrial cancer risk. Our meta-analysis included eight prospective studies involving 4553 subjects with endometrial cancer. The summarized RRs of endometrial cancer for menarcheal age were 0.68 (95%CI = 0.58-0.81, I(2) = 41.9%, P = 0.099, n = 8) when comparing women with oldest category of menarcheal age with women with youngest category of menarcheal age. Notably, there was an 4% reduction in risk for per 2 years delay in menarcheal age (summarized RR = 0.96; 95%CI = 0.94-0.98, I(2) = 45.7%, P = 0.101, n = 6). Additionally, significant inverse associations were consistent within all stratified analyses. There was no evidence of publication bias or significant heterogeneity between subgroups detected by meta-regression analyses. Our findings support the hypothesis that late menarcheal age is inversely associated with endometrial cancer risk. Further larger prospective or pooled studies are warranted to fully adjust for potential confounders and distinguish whether the associations differ by histological subtypes of endometrial cancer.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menarche*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors