Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 473–478 | Cite as

A case–control study of reproductive factors, female hormone use, and risk of pancreatic cancer

  • Yuqing ZhangEmail author
  • Patricia F. Coogan
  • Julie R. Palmer
  • Brian L. Strom
  • Lynn Rosenberg
Original paper


Findings from several previous studies that have assessed the relation of reproductive factors and female hormone use to the risk of pancreatic cancer are inconclusive. The authors examined the association between reproductive factors and the use of oral contraceptives and postmenopausal hormone therapy to the risk of pancreatic cancer among 284 patients with pancreatic cancer and 1,096 controls using data from the hospital-based Case–Control Surveillance Study. Older age at first pregnancy and long-duration oral contraceptive use were associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer: the odds ratio was 2.0 (95% CI: 1.1–3.3) for first birth at age 30 or older compared with before age 20 (p for trend = 0.042) and 2.0 (95% CI: 1.0–4.0) for ten or more years of use of oral contraceptive use relative to no-use (p for trend < 0.01). Risk of pancreatic cancer risk was not associated with postmenopausal female hormone use. The findings suggest that increased exposure to estrogen during the reproductive years may play a role in the development of pancreatic cancer in women. Further studies are needed to confirm the findings.


Pancreatic neoplasm Oral contraceptive Reproductive factors Case–control studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuqing Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patricia F. Coogan
    • 2
  • Julie R. Palmer
    • 2
  • Brian L. Strom
    • 3
  • Lynn Rosenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training UnitBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Slone Epidemiology CenterBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics, and Division of General Internal Medicine of the Department of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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