Soy Intake Is Associated With Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Dec;94(50):e2281. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000002281.


Epidemiologic studies reporting the effect of soy intake on endometrial cancer risk conveyed conflicting results. We systematically reviewed the literature to investigate whether there was an inverse relation between dietary soy intake and endometrial cancer risk. PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and 4 main Chinese literature databases were searched from their inception to August 25, 2015 for both case-control studies and cohort studies that assessed the effect of soy intake on endometrial cancer risk. Study-specific most-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) or relative risks (RRs) were combined by using fixed-effects or random-effects model to calculate pooled risk estimates (REs). A total of 10 epidemiologic studies were included in this meta-analysis, including 8 case-control studies and 2 prospective cohort studies. Dietary soy intake was inversely associated with endometrial cancer risk with an overall RE of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.72, 0.91). In subgroup analyses, a statistically significant protective effect of soy intake was found for unfermented soy food (RE: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67, 0.97), postmenopausal women (RE: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.95), and Asian (RE: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.95) and non-Asian population (RE: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.96). Current evidence indicates that soy food intake is associated with lower endometrial cancer risk. Further larger cohort studies are warranted to fully clarify such an association.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Soy Foods*