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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 2002;24(1): 76-82.
The Association of Reproductive and Menstrual Factors and Colon and Rectal Cancer Risk in Korean Women.
Bong Wha Lee, Dong Hyun Kim, Hunjae Lee, Dae Yong Whang, Yoon Ok Ahn
1Department of Surgery, college of Medicine, HallymUniversity, Korea. dhkims@hallym.ac.kr
2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, College ofMedicine, Hallym University, Korea.
3Department of Surgery, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea.
4Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine,Seoul National University, Korea.
Abstract
Recently, there were several epidemiological studies demonstrating that reproductive and menstrual factors are associated with the risk of colorectal cancer in women. A hospital-based case-control study has been conducted to investigate whether the histories of childbearing, menstruation, and breast-feeding are associated with colorectal cancer risk. The cases were consecutively diagnosed, histologically confirmed, incident patients with cancers of the colon and rectum aged 30-79 who were admitted to three tertiary hospitals in Seoul, Korea between March 1995 and August 1997. Controls were selected in the same hospitals as the cases during the same periods. Finally, a total of 151 cases and 110 controls were selected and interviewed on their reproductive and menstrual characteristics using a structured questionnaire. Earlier age at first birth appears to be related with increased risk of colorectal cancer (multivariate relative risk[RR] of colorectal cancer for <21 vs 25 > or = 2.33; 95% confidence interval[CI] 1.1-5.1, p for trend 0.03). Compared with women who experienced menarche at age 16 or older, women whose menarche occurred at age 14 or less appeared at significantly higher risk of rectal cancer(multivariate RR of colorectal cancer for < or = 14 vs > or =16 = 2.26; 95% CI 1.0-3.4, p for trend 0.03). We found no associations for parity, incomplete pregnancies, menopause, use of oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy. These findings suggest that events of reproductive life may have a bearing on female subsequent risk of colon and rectal cancer
Keywords: colon cancer; rectal cancer; reproductive factors; menstrual factors; case-control study


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