Newer Hormonal Contraception May Cut Ovarian Cancer Risk

Combined hormonal contraception use tied to lower risk; risk down with increasing duration of use.
Combined hormonal contraception use tied to lower risk; risk down with increasing duration of use.

HealthDay News — There is a reduction in ovarian cancer risk associated with use of contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives, according to a study published online September 26 in The BMJ.

Lisa Iversen, PhD, from the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the correlation between contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives and ovarian cancer among 1,879,227 women in Denmark from 1995 to 2014.

The researchers identified 1249 incident ovarian cancers during 21.4 million person-years; 478 ovarian cancers were recorded among 13,344,531 person-years for ever users of hormonal contraception, while never users had 771 ovarian cancers during 8,150,250 person-years. Current or recent use and former use of any hormonal contraception correlated with reduced risk of ovarian cancer compared with never use (relative risks, 0.58 [95% confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.68] and 0.77 [95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 0.91]). Among current or recent users, the relative risks decreased with increasing duration, from 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.59 to 1.12) to 0.26 (95% confidence interval, 0.16 to 0.43) for no more than 1 year to >10 years of use. There was no correlation seen for use of progestogen-only products with the risk of ovarian cancer. The fraction of ovarian cancers prevented in the study population was estimated to be 21% based on the relative risk for never versus ever use of hormonal contraception. 

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"Contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Abstract/Full Text