Pregnancy Loss in Relation to the Risks of Female-Specific Cancers in a Population-Based Cohort and Mendelian Randomization Study - China, 2004-2017

China CDC Wkly. 2023 May 12;5(19):413-418. doi: 10.46234/ccdcw2023.078.


What is already known about this topic?: Limited evidence exists regarding the relationship between pregnancy loss and female-specific cancers within the Chinese population from prospective cohort studies.

What is added by this report?: Terminations were associated with a 13% lower risk of endometrial cancer, whereas stillbirths were related to an 18% higher risk of cervical cancer. Rural residents with a history of pregnancy loss experienced a 19% and 38% increased risk of breast and cervical cancers, respectively, compared to their urban counterparts. Moreover, a positive graded relationship between live births and pregnancy loss on cervical cancer was observed.

What are the implications for public health practice?: This study has significant implications for identifying women at an increased risk for breast and genital cancers and contributes to the development of effective public health strategies for female cancer prevention. Future research on reproductive history, particularly in rural areas, should be given priority in efforts to improve female cancer screening and early detection.

Keywords: Breast Cancer; Cervical Cancer; Cohort; Endometrial Cancer; Mendelian randomization; Miscarriage; Ovarian Cancer; Pregnancy Loss; Stillbirth; Termination.

Grants and funding

Supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0900500, 2016YFC0900501, and 2016YFC0900504), the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation in Hong Kong SAR, and Wellcome Trust in the UK (088158/Z/09/Z and 104085/Z/14/Z)