Weight gain in infancy and cancer of the ovary

Lancet. 1995 Apr 29;345(8957):1087-8. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(95)90821-8.


The geographic association between ovarian cancer and tall stature suggests a link with rapid growth in early childhood. Among 5585 women born in Hertfordshire, UK, 41 who died from ovarian cancer had had a high rate of weight gain in infancy. Whereas their mean birthweight was the same as that of the other women, their mean weight at 1 year was higher (22.3 pounds [10.1 kg] vs 21.4 pounds [9.7 kg], p = 0.01). These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that ovarian cancer is linked to altered patterns of gonadotropin release established in utero when the fetal hypothalamus is imprinted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Gain*


  • Gonadotropins