Hormone replacement therapy, reproductive history, and colon cancer: a multicenter, case-control study in the United States

Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Mar;8(2):146-58. doi: 10.1023/a:1018459911147.


Hormonal factors have been inconsistently associated with colon cancer risk in women. The associations between reproductive events, menstrual factors, exogenous hormones, and colon cancer were evaluated in a large case-control study (894 female cases and 1,120 female age-matched population-based controls) in the United States, stratifying by age at diagnosis, tumor site, family history and other potential risk factors. Overall, higher parity was associated with a marginally decreased risk of colon cancer (five or more births compared with nulliparous: odds ratio [OR] = 0.75, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.53-1.06) after adjusting for age at diagnosis, family history of colorectal cancer, vigorous lifetime physical activity, body mass index (BMI) (wt/ht1.5), total energy intake, and aspirin use. No important associations were observed for other reproductive or menstrual events. An inverse association between recent use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and colon cancer was observed (OR = 0.71, CI = 0.56-0.89). Although interaction terms were not significant, this inverse association appeared to be more pronounced for those with an older age at diagnosis; for those without a first-degree relative with colorectal cancer; and for those with a relatively low BMI. The reduced risk associated with HRT use did not appear to be explained by other behaviors related to HRT use.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology