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June 18, 1982

Epithelial Ovarian Cancer and Combination Oral Contraceptives

Author Affiliations

From the Drug Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine (Drs Rosenberg, Shapiro, and Slone, Mr Kaufman, and Ms Helmrich), and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Miettinen), Cambridge, Mass; the Section of General Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (Dr Stolley); the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore (Dr Rosenshein); and the Epidemiology and Preventive Medical Service, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Dr Schottenfeld), and the Department of Public Health, Cornell University Medical College (Dr Engle), New York.

JAMA. 1982;247(23):3210-3212. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320480026020

The risk of epithelial ovarian cancer in relation to the use of combination oral contraceptives was evaluated in a case-control study of women younger than 60 years. Combination oral contraceptives were used by 35 (26%) of 136 cases and 187 (35%) of 539 controls. The relative risk estimate for combination oral contraceptive use was 0.6 (95% confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9). The reduction in risk appeared to persist for as long as ten years after use had ceased and to be greater for longer durations of use, but these results were not statistically significant. The findings were not explained by parity or by other identified potential confounding factors. The results suggest that the use of combination oral contraceptives protects against epithelial ovarian cancer.

(JAMA 1982;247:3210-3212)