The effect of breastfeeding duration and parity on the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ho Kyung Sung, Seung Hyun Ma, Ji Yeob Choi, Yunji Hwang, Choonghyun Ahn, Byoung Gie Kim, Yong Man Kim, Jae Weon Kim, Sokbom Kang, Jaehoon Kim, Tae Jin Kim, Keun Young Yoo, Daehee Kang, Suekyung Park

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize current evidence regarding the association of parity and duration of breastfeeding with the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Methods: A systematic search of relevant studies published by December 31, 2015 was performed in PubMed and EMBASE. A random-effect model was used to obtain the summary relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Thirty-two studies had parity categories of 1, 2, and ≥3. The summary RRs for EOC were 0.72 (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.79), 0.57 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.65), and 0.46 (95% CI, 0.41 to 0.52), respectively. Small to moderate heterogeneity was observed for one birth (p<0.01; Q=59.46; I2=47.9%). Fifteen studies had breastfeeding categories of <6 months, 6-12 months, and >13 months. The summary RRs were 0.79 (95% CI, 0.72 to 0.87), 0.72 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.81), and 0.67 (95% CI, 0.56 to 0.79), respectively. Only small heterogeneity was observed for <6 months of breastfeeding (p=0.17; Q=18.79, I2=25.5%). Compared to nulliparous women with no history of breastfeeding, the joint effects of two births and <6 months of breastfeeding resulted in a 0.5-fold reduced risk for EOC. Conclusions: The first birth and breastfeeding for <6 months were associated with significant reductions in EOC risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-366
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 The Korean Society for Preventive Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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