HealthDay News – Use of powder in the genital area does not appear to be significantly associated with incident ovarian cancer, according to a study published in the January 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Katie M. O’Brien, PhD, from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and colleagues pooled data from four US-based cohorts, with 252,745 women to examine the association between use of powder in the genital area and ovarian cancer.

The researchers found that 38% of participants self-reported use of powder in the genital area; 10 and 22% reported long-term use and frequent use of powder, respectively. Overall, 2168 women developed ovarian cancer during a median of 11.2 years of follow-up (58 cases per 100,000 person-years). Ovarian cancer incidence was 61 and 55 cases per 100,000 person-years among ever users and never users, respectively (estimated hazard ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.17). For frequent vs never use, the estimated hazard ratio was 1.09 (95% CI, 0.97 to 1.23), and for long-term vs never use, the hazard ratio was 1.01 (95% CI, 0.82 to 1.25).

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“The study by O’Brien et al represents the largest cohort to date to examine whether an association exists between powder use in the genital area and ovarian cancer risk, and the findings are overall reassuring,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical technology industries.

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