Obesity and endometrial hyperplasia and cancer in premenopausal women: A systematic review

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jun;214(6):689.e1-689.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2016.01.175. Epub 2016 Jan 30.


Objective: To systematically review the literature on the association between obesity and endometrial hyperplasia or cancer in premenopausal women.

Data sources: We searched the bibliographic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and CINAHL (inception to May 5, 2015), and checked reference lists of included studies and systematic reviews.

Study eligibility criteria: Studies of more than 50 women with endometrial pathology diagnosed during premenopause that reported on obesity as a risk factor were eligible.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Study identification and data extraction were independently performed by 2 authors. Where possible, data were pooled in a generic inverse variance forest plot. Heterogeneity was reported using the I(2) statistic.

Results: Nine case-control studies of moderate quality were included. Quantitative analysis of 5 studies showed a dose-response relationship of body mass index and increased risk of endometrial cancer. For studies of women with body mass index of ≥25, the pooled odds ratio was 3.85 (95% confidence interval 2.53-5.84); body mass index of ≥30 was 5.25 (4.00-6.90); and body mass index of ≥40 was 19.79 (11.18-35.03).

Conclusion: Body mass index is a consistent and leading risk factor for endometrial complex hyperplasia or cancer in premenopausal women. Body mass index should be considered when deciding to assess the endometrium in symptomatic premenopausal women.

Keywords: body mass index; endometrial cancer; endometrial hyperplasia; obesity; premenopausal women; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / etiology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Premenopause
  • Risk Factors