Gestational Weight Gain and the Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

March 18, 2021

Researchers from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh examined the association between gestational weight gain (GWG) and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) in a study recently published in Cancer Causes & Control

woman getting ultrasoundIn women who were normal or underweight at the study baseline, greater average GWG was not associated with EOC; however, among women who were overweight or obese at study baseline, greater average GWG was associated with EOC. 

Researchers postulate that maternal post-partum weight retention — not gestational weight gain — may impact subsequent risk of EOC. If this conclusion is supported in other studies designed to assess this question directly, then counseling women on the importance of healthy weight management after a pregnancy could provide another means to help women reduce their risk of this often-fatal malignancy.

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UPMC and University of Pittsburgh Authors

Zhuxuan Fu
Graduate Student Researcher
Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Joseph L. Kelley, MD
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Clinical Investigator, Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation

Robert P. Edwards, MD
Milton Lawrence McCall Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Co-Director, Gynecologic Oncology Research, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

Francesmary Modugno, MS, PhD, MPH
Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 
Gynecologic Cancer Biospecimen and Data Bank Site Co-Leader, Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation

Reference

Fu Z, Kelley JL, Odunsi K, Edwards RP, Moysich K, Modugno F. Gestational weight gain and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 2021 Feb 22. doi: 10.1007/s10552-021-01405-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33616777.