Reproductive pattern of parous women and the risk of cancer in later life

Zahra Pasdar* (Corresponding Author), Neil Scott, Lisa Iversen, Philip Hannaford, Phyo K Myint, Sohinee Bhattacharya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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We assessed the risk of any and site-specific cancers in a case-control study of parous women living in northeast Scotland in relation to: total number of pregnancies, cumulative time pregnant, age at first delivery and interpregnancy interval. We analysed 6430 women with cancer and 6430 age-matched controls. After adjustment for confounders, women with increasing number of pregnancies had similar odds of cancer diagnosis as women with only one pregnancy. The adjusted odds of cancer diagnosis were no higher in women with cumulative pregnancy time 50–150 weeks compared to those pregnant ≤ 50 weeks. Compared with women who had their first delivery at or before 20 years of age, the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) among those aged 21–25 years was 0.81, 95% CI 0.74, 0.88; 26–30 years AOR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69, 0.86; >30 years AOR 0.63, 95% CI 0.55, 0.73. After adjustment, the odds of having any cancer were higher in women who had an inter-pregnancy interval >3 years compared to those with no subsequent pregnancy (AOR 1.17, 95% CI 1.05, 1.30). Older age at first pregnancy was associated with increased risk of breast and gastrointestinal cancer, and reduced risk of invasive cervical, carcinoma in situ of the cervix and respiratory cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3731
Number of pages13
Issue number15
Early online date24 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the NHS Grampian Endowment Funds, project number 09/30.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • pregnancy
  • reproductive factors
  • cancer


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