Cancer Causes & Control

, 20:87 | Cite as

Reproductive factors and hormone use and risk of adult gliomas

  • Martha J. FeliniEmail author
  • Andrew F. Olshan
  • Jane C. Schroeder
  • Susan E. Carozza
  • Rei Miike
  • Terri Rice
  • Margaret Wrensch
Original Paper


Previous research suggests there may be a hormonal influence on glioma risk as evidenced by lower rates in females, change in incidence rates around ages at menarche and menopause, and presence of hormone receptors in glial tumors. Using the large San Francisco Bay Area Adult Glioma Study, we investigated whether reported reproductive factors and hormone use were associated with gliomas overall or with histologic subtypes among female cases (n = 619) and controls (n = 650). We found that reproductive factors were generally not associated with gliomas. Weak to moderately elevated odds ratios were observed for self-reported later age at menarche (14+ vs. 12–13 years old: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02–1.89), particularly for non-glioblastoma histologies (AOR = 1.64, 95% CI: 1.11–2.43). Inverse associations were observed for ever self-reported use of exogenous hormones (oral contraceptive use: AOR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.53–0.99; postmenopausal hormone use: AOR = 0.56, CI: 0.37–0.84). However, cumulative hormone exposure defined multiple ways demonstrated no clear pattern of association. The results of this study suggest that any protective effect of hormones on gliomas may be limited to exogenous hormones, but a more detailed history of exogenous hormone use is needed to confirm findings.


Reproductive factors Gliomas Case–control study Exogenous hormone use 





Odds ratio



This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health: CA52689, CA097257, CA89032, ES06717, EX04705, and P30ES10126. Additional funding was provided by a gift from the Robert J. and Helen H. Glaser Family Foundation. The authors would like to thank Lucie McCoy for her technical assistance with the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha J. Felini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew F. Olshan
    • 2
  • Jane C. Schroeder
    • 2
  • Susan E. Carozza
    • 3
  • Rei Miike
    • 4
  • Terri Rice
    • 4
  • Margaret Wrensch
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Texas Health Science CenterFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsTAMHSC School of Rural Public HealthCollege StationUSA
  4. 4.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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