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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1992 Sep 2;84(17):1346-9.

Association between brain tumors and menopausal status.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biometry, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several lines of evidence have implicated female hormones in the etiology of human brain tumors, meningiomas in particular.

PURPOSE:

To investigate the relationship between brain tumor development and the hormonal changes manifested during pregnancy and menopause, we analyzed data from female participants in a population-based case-control study of adult brain tumors. This study was conducted in 1987-1988 in the Rhein-Neckar-Odenwald area of the Federal Republic of Germany.

METHODS:

The study population consisted of 127 women with meningiomas, gliomas, and acoustic neuromas (case patients) and 233 control women who were selected from the general population and frequency-matched by age to the case patients. Information on parity, menopausal status, and previous gynecologic surgeries was obtained through a standardized questionnaire. Case patients and control subjects were compared with the use of the unconditional maximum likelihood estimation of the parameters in a logistic regression model.

RESULTS:

Our results were not statistically significant; nevertheless, they revealed some interesting trends. No association was found between parity and the development of any of the three histological subtypes of brain tumor (relative risk [RR] = 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.51-2.07). Menopausal women had a greatly reduced risk of developing meningiomas (RR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.18-1.90), and this effect was most pronounced when menopause had been surgically induced by bilateral oophorectomy (RR = 0.12; 95% CI = 0.01-1.30). Menopausal women had a greater risk of developing gliomas or acoustic neuromas (RR = 1.77; 95% CI = 0.67-4.68), except when menopause was surgically induced, in which case the risk was reduced (RR = 0.33; 95% CI = 0.04-3.09). Oophorectomy after menopause did not appear to influence risk.

CONCLUSIONS:

Since the onset of menopause is accompanied by cessation of estrogen production, our results support the notion that female hormones play a role in the development of brain tumors.

PMID:
1495104
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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