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Horm Cancer. 2012 Dec;3(5-6):240-8. doi: 10.1007/s12672-012-0117-7. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Migraine history, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, and risk of postmenopausal endometrial cancer.

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  • 1Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., M4-B402, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. aphipps@fhcrc.org


Endometrial cancer is primarily a hormonally mediated disease. As such, factors that mediate or reflect exposure to estrogens, or that mediate response to such exposure, may plausibly be associated with endometrial cancer risk. History of migraines, another hormonally mediated condition, has recently been associated with a reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer; however, the relationship between migraines and endometrial cancer has not previously been explored. We evaluated the relationship between migraine history and endometrial cancer risk in postmenopausal women, considering also the potential impact of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use, given the relationship of NSAIDs to hormones and to migraine history. We identified 93,384 women participating in the Women's Health Initiative prospective cohort who had an intact uterus at the time of study entry. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we assessed risk of endometrial cancer during study follow-up according to history of migraines and according to current NSAID use at the time of study entry, adjusting for age, study arm, race, and hormone therapy use. We also evaluated interaction in these associations by body mass index. Having a history of migraines was not associated with endometrial cancer risk [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.75-1.11], regardless of body mass index (BMI) or NSAID use status. Similarly, current NSAID use was not associated with endometrial cancer risk (HR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.88-1.16), regardless of BMI. Migraine history and NSAID use do not appear to be associated with risk of endometrial cancer.

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