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Hypertension. 1999 Aug;34(2):320-5.

Hypertension and hormone-related neoplasms in women.

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  • 1Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri" , Milan, Italy.


The relation between hypertension and the risk of selected hormone-related neoplasms in women was investigated in a network of case-control studies conducted in Italy during 1983-1996. Cases were women younger than 75 years with histologically confirmed cancer of the breast (n=3406), endometrium (n=745), ovary (n=970), and thyroid (n=145). Controls were 3054 women admitted in the same geographic area for acute, nonneoplastic, non-hormone-related diseases. Odds ratios (ORs) of treated hypertension were computed after allowance for sociodemographic factors, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, parity, menopausal status, and body mass index (BMI) by means of unconditional logistic regression. The ORs were 1.2 (95% CI, 1.1 to 1.4) for breast cancer and 1.6 (95% CI, 1.3 to 1.9) for endometrial cancer, and the elevated ORs persisted after >/=5 years since diagnosis of hypertension. No significant association was observed for ovarian and thyroid cancer. For breast cancer, the association was apparently stronger at age 55 years or over and consequently after menopause. No appreciable effect modification was evident for endometrial cancer. Allowance for BMI did not explain the association of postmenopausal breast cancer and endometrial cancer with hypertension. The OR of postmenopausal breast cancer was 1.5 (95% CI, 1.1 to 2.0) in hypertensive women with BMI >/=30 kg/m(2) compared with normotensive women with BMI <25 kg/m(2). The corresponding figure for all endometrial cancers was 4.9 (95% CI, 3. 4 to 6.9). Even in the absence of a clear understanding of biological mechanisms, the definition of a role of hypertension on female hormone-related cancers can have relevant implications on individual risk assessment.

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