Dietary fat intake and ovarian cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies

Wenlong Qiu, Heng Lu, Yana Qi and Xiuwen Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:37390-37406. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8940

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Wenlong Qiu1, Heng Lu1, Yana Qi1 and Xiuwen Wang1

1 Department of Oncology, Qilu Hospital, School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China

Correspondence to:

Xiuwen Wang, email:

Keywords: meta-analysis, ovarian epithelial carcinoma, dietary fat

Received: November 25, 2015 Accepted: April 10, 2016 Published: April 22, 2016


Observational studies assessing the association of dietary fat and risk of ovarian cancer yield discrepant results. Pertinent prospective cohort studies were identified by a PubMed search from inception to December 2015. Sixteen independent case-control and nine cohort studies on dietary fat intake were included, with approximately 900,000 subjects in total. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals were pooled using a random effects model. Heterogeneity, sensitivity analysis and publication bias were assessed; subgroup analysis and analysis stratified by EOC histology were conducted. The reported studies showed a significant increase of ovarian cancer risk with high consumption of total-, saturated-, and trans-fats, while serous ovarian cancer was more susceptible to dietary fat consumption than other pathological subtypes. No evidence of positive association between dietary fat intake and ovarian cancer risk was provided by cohort studies. Menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy, body mass index (BMI), and pregnancy times, modified the objective associations. In conclusion, the meta-analysis findings indicate that high consumption of total, saturated and trans-fats increase ovarian cancer risk, and different histological subtypes have different susceptibility to dietary fat.

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