Mendelian randomisation study of height and body mass index as modifiers of ovarian cancer risk in 22,588 BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

Frank Qian, Matti A. Rookus, Goska Leslie, Harvey A. Risch, Mark H. Greene, Cora M. Aalfs, Muriel A. Adank, Julian Adlard, Bjarni A. Agnarsson, Munaza Ahmed, Kristiina Aittomaki, Irene L. Andrulis, Norbert Arnold, Banu K. Arun, Margreet G. E. M. Ausems, Jacopo Azzollini, Daniel Barrowdale, Julian Barwell, Javier Benitez, Katarzyna BialkowskaValerie Bonadona, Julika Borde, Ake Borg, Angela R. Bradbury, Joan Brunet, Saundra S. Buys, Trinidad Caldes, Maria A. Caligo, Ian Campbell, Jonathan Carter, Jocelyne Chiquette, Wendy K. Chung, Kathleen B. M. Claes, J. Margriet Collee, Marie-Agnes Collonge-Rame, Fergus J. Couch, Mary B. Daly, Capucine Delnatte, Orland Diez, Susan M. Domchek, Cecilia M. Dorfling, Jacqueline Eason, Douglas F. Easton, Ros Eeles, Christoph Engel, D. Gareth Evans, Laurence Faivre, Lidia Feliubado, Lenka Foretova, Eitan Friedman, Encarna Gomez Garcia, KConFab Investigators, HEBON Investigators, GEMO Study Collaborators, EMBRACE Collaborators, CIMBA, Dezheng Huo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Height and body mass index (BMI) are associated with higher ovarian cancer risk in the general population, but whether such associations exist among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is unknown.

METHODS: We applied a Mendelian randomisation approach to examine height/BMI with ovarian cancer risk using the Consortium of Investigators for the Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA) data set, comprising 14,676 BRCA1 and 7912 BRCA2 mutation carriers, with 2923 ovarian cancer cases. We created a height genetic score (height-GS) using 586 height-associated variants and a BMI genetic score (BMI-GS) using 93 BMI-associated variants. Associations were assessed using weighted Cox models.

RESULTS: Observed height was not associated with ovarian cancer risk (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.07 per 10-cm increase in height, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.94-1.23). Height-GS showed similar results (HR = 1.02, 95% CI: 0.85-1.23). Higher BMI was significantly associated with increased risk in premenopausal women with HR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.06-1.48) and HR = 1.59 (95% CI: 1.08-2.33) per 5-kg/m(2) increase in observed and genetically determined BMI, respectively. No association was found for postmenopausal women. Interaction between menopausal status and BMI was significant (P-interaction <0.05).

CONCLUSION: Our observation of a positive association between BMI and ovarian cancer risk in premenopausal BRCA1/2 mutation carriers is consistent with findings in the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-192
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2019




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