Reproductive risk factors for incident bladder cancer: Iowa Women's Health Study

Anna E. Prizment, Kristin E. Anderson, Bernard L. Harlow, Aaron R. Folsom

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23 Scopus citations


We studied the association between reproductive factors and bladder cancer incidence in a prospective cohort study of 37,459 Iowa women aged 55-69 years and initially free from cancer in 1986. Women reported reproductive history and were followed prospectively through 2003. After adjusting for age and smoking, there was an inverse association between age at menopause and incident bladder cancer (n = 192). Compared with menopause at age ≥48, the hazard ratio (HR) of bladder cancer was 1.32 (95% CI; 0.90-1.94) for menopause at 43-47, and 1.60 (95% CI; 1.06-2.39) for ≤42 (p-trend = 0.02). The associations were similar for ages at natural and surgical menopause. In addition, women with a history of bilateral oophorectomy had an increased risk of bladder cancer compared with those who did not undergo bilateral oophorectomy: HR = 1.58 (95% CI; 1.12, 2.22). Finally, there was an indication of a positive association between bladder cancer and shorter lifetime years of ovulation (p-trend = 0.09). There were no associations between incident bladder cancer and age at first birth, number of births, age at menarche, use of hormone replacement therapy or any other reproductive characteristics. This study provides evidence that increased risk of bladder cancer is associated with earlier age at menopause in postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1098
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Age at menopause
  • Bladder cancer
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Prospective study
  • Reproductive factors


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