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Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Mar 1;171(5):557-63. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp441. Epub 2010 Jan 31.

Parity and risk of lung cancer in women.

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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Patterns of lung cancer incidence suggest that gender-associated factors may influence lung cancer risk. Given the association of parity with risk of some women's cancers, the authors hypothesized that childbearing history may also be associated with lung cancer. Women enrolled in the Lung Cancer Susceptibility Study at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts) between 1992 and 2004 (1,004 cases, 848 controls) were available for analysis of the association between parity and lung cancer risk. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. After results were controlled for age and smoking history, women with at least 1 child had 0.71 times the odds of lung cancer as women without children (odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval: 0.52, 0.97). A significant linear trend was found: Lung cancer risk decreased with increasing numbers of children (P < 0.001). This inverse association was stronger in never smokers (P = 0.12) and was limited to women over age 50 years at diagnosis (P = 0.17). Age at first birth was not associated with risk. The authors observed a protective association between childbearing and lung cancer, adding to existing evidence that reproductive factors may moderate lung cancer risk in women.

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