Reproductive factors and hormone use in postmenopausal women have been hypothesised to affect the risk of developing lung cancer, but the epidemiological evidence is inconsistent.
Using the Korean National Health Insurance System database, we identified 4,775,398 postmenopausal women older than 40 years who had undergone both cardiovascular health- and cancer screening between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2014. Information about reproductive factors was obtained from a self-administered questionnaire. The risk of lung cancer was estimated using Cox proportional hazard regression models.
During a median follow-up of 4.4 years, 16,556 women (15,223 non-smokers) were diagnosed with lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer was not significantly influenced by early menarche age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.03 for menarche ≥18 vs. ≤14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98-1.09) or late age at menopause (aHR 1.02 for menopause ≥55 vs. <40; 95% CI, 0.91-1.14). Furthermore, the number of children, duration of breastfeeding and use of hormone replacement therapy were not associated with the risk of lung cancer.
No statistically significant association was found between reproductive factors and the risk of lung cancer in postmenopausal Korean women.