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, 2018, 7698193

The Association of Digit Ratio (2D : 4D) With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


The Association of Digit Ratio (2D : 4D) With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Adomas Bunevicius. Dis Markers.


Objective: Intrauterine sex hormone environment as indicated by the second to the fourth digit ratio (2D : 4D) can be associated with cancer risk. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the association of 2D : 4D with cancer diagnosis, malignancy, and age at presentation.

Methods: Studies that evaluated the association of 2D : 4D with cancer risk were collected from Pubmed/MEDLINE and Clarivate Analytics databases. Nineteen studies were included in the qualitative analysis.

Results: The 2D : 4D ratio was studied in prostate cancer, breast cancer, testicular cancer, gastric cancer, oral cancer, brain tumors, and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Low 2D : 4D was associated with prostate cancer, gastric cancer, and brain tumors, while high 2D : 4D, with breast cancer risk and cervical dysplasia. The 2D : 4D ratio was not associated with prostate, breast, and gastric cancer stage. Greater 2D : 4D ratio was associated with younger presentation of breast cancer and brain tumors. The meta-analyses demonstrated that testicular cancer was not associated with right-hand 2D : 4D ratio (p = 0.74) and gastric cancer was not associated with right-hand (p = 0.15) and left-hand (p = 0.95) 2D : 4D ratio.

Conclusions: Sex hormone environment during early development is associated with cancer risk later in life. Further studies exploring the link between intrauterine hormone environment and cancer risk are encouraged.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Flow chart of study selection.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The association of the right-hand 2D : 4D ratio and testicular cancer.
Figure 3
Figure 3
The association of the right-hand and left-hand 2D : 4D ratio with gastric cancer.

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