Risk factors for familial and sporadic ovarian cancer among French Canadians: a case-control study

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Aug;179(2):403-10. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(98)70372-2.


Objective: The objective was to compare risk factors between familial and sporadic ovarian cancer by means of a case-control approach.

Study design: We conducted a case-control study among French Canadian women in Montreal during 1995-1996. One hundred seventy women 20 to 84 years old with histologically confirmed diagnoses of primary ovarian carcinomas or borderline tumors were interviewed concerning their reproductive, family, and medical histories. During the same period 170 randomly selected population control subjects, frequency-matched to the case patients according to age and ethnic group, were also interviewed. Unconditional logistic regression methods were used for data analysis.

Results: The major factors influencing the risk of development of ovarian cancer were as follows: (1) family history of breast or ovarian cancer, (2) a late age at use of oral contraceptives (a protective effect), and (3) a late age at last childbirth (a protective effect for familial case patients only).

Conclusion: These factors had equally great impacts in familial and sporadic cases, implying that the underlying mechanisms of carcinogenesis in sporadic and familial ovarian cancer may be similar and that hereditary ovarian cancer may be preventable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects
  • Ethanol / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sterilization, Tubal
  • Talc / adverse effects


  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Talc
  • Ethanol