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13-02-2011 | Gynaecology | Article

Ovarian cancer mortality linked to early adulthood BMI and weight gain


Free abstract

MedWire News: High body mass index (BMI; ≥25 kg/m2) and weight gain during early adulthood are associated with increased mortality in ovarian cancer patients, say researchers.

"Women [with ovarian cancer] overweight in their 20s had a greater than 80 percent higher risk of mortality compared to their non-overweight counterparts," report Melinda Irwin and colleagues from Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

The team followed-up 388 ovarian cancer patients aged 35-49 years for 5 years, noting self-reported BMI during their 20s, at 5 years before diagnosis, and post-diagnosis. Two hundred and three women were normal weight (<25 kg/m2) at study entry.

A total of 146 participants died from ovarian cancer during follow-up, giving a 5-year survival rate of 54 percent. After adjustment for confounding factors, every 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI in the third decade of life resulted in a significant 6 percent increase in the risk for ovarian cancer mortality.

In addition, every 1 kg/m2 increase in BMI during the 5 years prior to diagnosis increased risk for ovarian cancer mortality by a significant 3 percent.

Finally, Irwin et al observed a 70 percent higher risk for ovarian cancer mortality in women who gained at least 10 lbs between their 20s and 5 years prior to diagnosis, compared with those who gained less than 10 lbs.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Sarah Guy

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