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A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and ovarian cancer in their daughters

A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and ovarian cancer in their daughters
A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and ovarian cancer in their daughters
At puberty, the distance between the iliac crests of the female pelvis, measured by the intercristal and interspinous diameters, increases rapidly. This is mainly controlled by estrogens. We have followed up 6,370 women who were born in Helsinki during 1934-1944, and whose mothers' pelvic bones were measured during routine antenatal care. We have previously reported that women whose mothers had larger intercristal diameters had higher rates of breast cancer. We postulated that large intercristal diameters are markers of high circulating concentrations of estrogen, which are established at puberty, persist through reproductive life and cause genetic instability in differentiating breast cells in female embryos. We now report on ovarian cancer in the same cohort. Our hypothesis was that the risk of this cancer would also be higher in women whose mothers had broader hips. We found that, when compared with all other women, the hazard ratio for ovarian cancer was 3.3 (95% CI 1.6-7.0, P = 0.004) in the daughters of mothers whose interspinous diameter was greater than 27 cm. Among mothers who had an early menarche, each measure of broad hips was associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer in their daughters. We postulate that ovarian cancer is initiated by exposure of the fetal ovary to maternal sex hormones. Concentrations of these hormones may be higher in mothers who had an early menarche. The maternal sex hormone profile that initiates ovarian cancer may be the product of poor nutrition and growth in early childhood followed by catch-up pre-pubertal growth.
mother, pelvic bones, nutrition, risk, finland, report, cancer, england, breast cancer, fetal, life, mothers, childhood, bone, cohort, maternal, ovary, puberty, pelvis, hip, hypothesis, exposure, growth, breast-cancer, heart, estrogens, embryo, female, women
1042-0533
659-662
Barker, David J. P.
84efdf7a-7c52-45fc-aa16-9647f3743c27
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Eriksson, Johan G.
e95e6451-67bb-4338-803e-7af310a920ac
Barker, David J. P.
84efdf7a-7c52-45fc-aa16-9647f3743c27
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Eriksson, Johan G.
e95e6451-67bb-4338-803e-7af310a920ac

Barker, David J. P., Osmond, Clive, Thornburg, Kent L., Kajantie, Eero and Eriksson, Johan G. (2008) A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and ovarian cancer in their daughters. American Journal of Human Biology, 20 (6), 659-662. (doi:10.1002/ajhb.20789).

Record type: Article

Abstract

At puberty, the distance between the iliac crests of the female pelvis, measured by the intercristal and interspinous diameters, increases rapidly. This is mainly controlled by estrogens. We have followed up 6,370 women who were born in Helsinki during 1934-1944, and whose mothers' pelvic bones were measured during routine antenatal care. We have previously reported that women whose mothers had larger intercristal diameters had higher rates of breast cancer. We postulated that large intercristal diameters are markers of high circulating concentrations of estrogen, which are established at puberty, persist through reproductive life and cause genetic instability in differentiating breast cells in female embryos. We now report on ovarian cancer in the same cohort. Our hypothesis was that the risk of this cancer would also be higher in women whose mothers had broader hips. We found that, when compared with all other women, the hazard ratio for ovarian cancer was 3.3 (95% CI 1.6-7.0, P = 0.004) in the daughters of mothers whose interspinous diameter was greater than 27 cm. Among mothers who had an early menarche, each measure of broad hips was associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer in their daughters. We postulate that ovarian cancer is initiated by exposure of the fetal ovary to maternal sex hormones. Concentrations of these hormones may be higher in mothers who had an early menarche. The maternal sex hormone profile that initiates ovarian cancer may be the product of poor nutrition and growth in early childhood followed by catch-up pre-pubertal growth.

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More information

Published date: 2008
Keywords: mother, pelvic bones, nutrition, risk, finland, report, cancer, england, breast cancer, fetal, life, mothers, childhood, bone, cohort, maternal, ovary, puberty, pelvis, hip, hypothesis, exposure, growth, breast-cancer, heart, estrogens, embryo, female, women

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 70278
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/70278
ISSN: 1042-0533
PURE UUID: 0935cb50-e3b8-4f5a-950b-8673ba080d9b
ORCID for Clive Osmond: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9054-4655

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Jan 2010
Last modified: 29 Oct 2019 02:04

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