Weight, Height, and Body Mass Index and Risk for Ovarian Cancer in a Cohort Study

James V. Lacey, Michael Leitzmann, Louise A. Brinton, Jay H. Lubin, Mark E. Sherman, Arthur Schatzkin, Catherine Schairer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: Reported associations between ovarian cancer and body size are inconsistent. We assessed ovarian cancer and anthropometry in the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project Follow-Up Study. Methods: The 46,026 participants completed a baseline interview and mailed questionnaires between 1979 and 1998. By using multiple sources, we identified 346 incident ovarian cancers during follow-up. We calculated rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to estimate relative risks for developing ovarian cancer associated with height and weight (measured 1973 to 1980) and self-reported current and usual adult weight (collected during follow-up). Results: Neither taller height (≥66 versus <62 inches; RR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.64-1.26) nor greater weight (≥161 versus ≤120 lbs; RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.77-1.55) was associated with ovarian cancer. Compared with normal weight (body mass index [BMI], 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2), overweight (BMI, 25 to 29.9 kg/m2; RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.78-1.29) and obesity (BMI, 30 to 34.9 kg/m2; RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.59-1.48) were not associated with ovarian cancer. Severe obesity (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2) produced a nonsignificantly elevated RR (1.55; 95% CI, 0.84-2.84). Associations with histologic types and statistical interactions with menopausal status and hormone therapy use were null. Conclusions: Based on height and weight measured before baseline, overweight and obesity were not significantly associated with ovarian cancer in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-876
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Obesity
  • Ovarian Carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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