Background:

The incidence rates of endometrial cancer are increasing, which may partly be explained by the rising prevalence of obesity, an established risk factor for endometrial cancer. Hypertension, another component of metabolic syndrome, is also increasing in prevalence, and emerging evidence suggests that it may be associated with the development of certain cancers. The role of hypertension independent of other components of metabolic syndrome in the etiology of endometrial cancer remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated hypertension as an independent risk factor for endometrial cancer and whether this association is modified by other established risk factors.

Methods:

We included 15,631 endometrial cancer cases and 42,239 controls matched on age, race, and study-specific factors from 29 studies in the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium. We used multivariable unconditional logistic regression models to estimate ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to evaluate the association between hypertension and endometrial cancer and whether this association differed by study design, race/ethnicity, body mass index, diabetes status, smoking status, or reproductive factors.

Results:

Hypertension was associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.09–1.19). There was significant heterogeneity by study design (Phet < 0.01), with a stronger magnitude of association observed among case–control versus cohort studies. Stronger associations were also noted for pre-/perimenopausal women and never users of postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Conclusions:

Hypertension is associated with endometrial cancer risk independently from known risk factors. Future research should focus on biologic mechanisms underlying this association.

Impact:

This study provides evidence that hypertension may be an independent risk factor for endometrial cancer.

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