Background: Epidemiological evidence of relationships between endometriosis and epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) has been obtained mainly from Western countries. Our goal was to determine the risk of EOC due to endometriosis in Taiwanese women. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed by linking to the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) of Taiwan. A total of 5,945 women with a new surgico-pathological diagnosis of endometriosis from 2000 to 2010 and 23,780 multivariable-matched controls (1:4) were selected. The Cox regression model adjusted for potential confounders was used to assess the risk of EOC due to endometriosis. Results: The EOC incidence rate (IR) of the women with and without endometriosis was 11.64 and 2.66 per 10,000 person-years, contributing to a crude hazard ratio (HR) of 4.48 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.84-7.06), and HR after adjustment for all confounders (adjusted HR) of 5.62 (95% CI 3.46-9.14); the risk was higher in clear-cell carcinoma subtypes (adjusted HR 7.36, 95% CI 1.91-28.33). The EOC IR of women with endometriosis consistently increased with increasing age, ranging from 4.99 (<30 years) to 35.81 (≥50 years) per 10,000 person-years, contributing to a progressively increased risk of EOC (crude HRs ranging from 2.80 to 6.74 and adjusted HRs ranging from 3.34 to 9.63) compared to age-matched women without endometriosis, whose EOC IR also increased with age. The older women (≥50 years) with endometriosis had a risk of EOC that was higher than both the age-matched women without endometriosis (adjusted HR 9.63, 95% CI 3.27-28.37) and the youngest women (<30 years) with endometriosis (adjusted HR 4.97, 95% CI 1.03-24.09). Conclusions: These significant findings corroborate the previously reported association between endometriosis and increased risk of EOC. Since the risk of EOC in women with a new surgico-pathological diagnosis of endometriosis constantly increased with age and this increased risk of EOC was more significant in women aged ≥50 years, active and intensive surgical intervention should be taken into consideration for older women with endometriosis.
- Cohort study
- Epithelial ovarian cancer