A case-control study of endometrial cancer in relation to reproductive, somatometric, and life-style variables

Oncology. Sep-Oct 1996;53(5):354-9. doi: 10.1159/000227587.


A hospital-based case-control study of cancer of the endometrium was conducted in Athens, Greece, from 1992 to 1994. The cases were 145 women residents of Greater Athens with histologically confirmed incident cancer of the endometrium, operated in the two cancer hospitals of the Greater Athens area or the major University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Controls were 298 women residents of Greater Athens hospitalized for bone fractures or other orthopedic conditions in the accident hospital of Greater Athens. The data were analyzed by modeling through multiple logistic regression. The risk of endometrial cancer decreased with the number of livebirths (p for trend < 0.01), with early age at menopause (p = 0.03), and with later age at menarche (p = 0.11), whereas miscarriages and induced abortions were clearly unrelated. There were nonsignificant relations of disease risk with smoking (inverse), alcohol (inverse), and menopausal estrogens (positive), whereas oral contraceptive use was too uncommon to allow meaningful study. The lower risk of the disease associated with current occupations requiring manual activity (p = 0.03) and the lower, although not significantly so (p = 0.36), energy intake of cases in comparison to controls suggest that physical inactivity could be an important risk factor for endometrial cancer. Women with endometrial cancer were significantly taller than control women (p = 0.02). The latter results indicate that excess energy intake in early life, leading to higher attained stature, and excessive energy intake in later life, on account of physical inactivity and leading to higher body weight, converge in increasing the risk for endometrial cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Constitution*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Menarche
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproduction*
  • Risk Factors