The influence of lactose consumption on the association of oral contraceptive use and ovarian cancer risk

Bernard L. Harlow, Daniel W. Cramer, Judy Geller, Walter C. Willett, Debra A. Bell, William R. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors investigated the joint effects of diet and oral contraceptive use on ovarian cancer risk in 194 white women aged 65 years or less with epithelial ovarian cancer and 193 age- and residence-matched controls in Boston between 1984 and 1987 by using in-person interviews and self-administered food frequency questionnaires. Use of oral contraceptives for 3 months or more was associated with a modest protective effect for ovarian cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 0.7, 95 percent confidence interval (CI) 0.5-1.1). In women who consumed 11 g or less per day of lactose, use of oral contraceptives for 3 months or more was associated with a nonsignificant increased risk (OR = 1.6, 95 percent Cl 0.8-3.2). In women who consumed more than 11 g per day of lactose, use of oral contraceptives for 3 months or more was associated with a substantially decreased risk of ovarian cancer (OR = 0.3, 95 percent Cl 0.1-0.7). Within this group, the strongest association occurred with more than 4 years of total oral contraceptive use (OR = 0.2, 95 percent Cl 0.1-0.6) and in those who had more than 2 years of oral contraceptive use after age 30 years (OR = 0.1, 95 percent CI 0.03-0.4). These results suggest that, with respect to ovarian cancer, lactose users may be the most likely to benefit from oral contraceptive use and that the benefit may be strongest when oral contraceptive use occurs after age 30 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume134
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1991

Keywords

  • Contraceptives, oral
  • Dairy products
  • Galactose
  • Lactose
  • Ovarian neoplasms

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of lactose consumption on the association of oral contraceptive use and ovarian cancer risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this