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Cancer Causes Control. 1995 Nov;6(6):513-8.

Reproductive risk factors for colorectal adenomatous polyps (New York City, NY, United States).

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Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.


Events of reproductive life, such as parity and age at menarche, have been found in some but not all studies to be associated with risk for colorectal cancer in females. Because adenomatous polyps (adenomas) are precursors of colorectal cancer, we investigated whether reproductive variables were associated with colorectal adenomas. We conducted a case-control study among patients examined in three colonoscopy practices in New York City (NY, United States) from 1986 to 1988. Adenoma cases (n = 128) were defined as women who had an adenoma detected at the index colonoscopy with no history of inflammatory bowel disease, adenomas, or cancer. Controls (n = 283) were women with a normal index colonoscopy and no history of inflammatory bowel disease, adenomas, or cancer. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for the association of early menarche (age less than 13 years) with adenomas was 0.6 (95 percent confidence interval = 0.4-0.9). Parity, history of spontaneous or induced abortion, infertility, type of menopause, age at menopause, use of oral contraceptives, and use of menopausal hormone replacement therapy were not associated statistically significantly with adenoma risk, although some possible trends were observed. Our findings do not implicate reproductive events, nulliparity, or overexposure to estrogens or to menstrual cycles as mechanisms of increased risk for colorectal neoplasia.

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