TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Use of powder in the genital area does not appear to be significantly associated with incident ovarian cancer, according to a study published in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Katie M. O’Brien, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and colleagues pooled data from four U.S.-based cohorts, with 252,745 women to examine the association between use of powder in the genital area and ovarian cancer.

The researchers found that 38 percent of participants self-reported use of powder in the genital area; 10 and 22 percent reported long-term use and frequent use of powder, respectively. Overall, 2,168 women developed ovarian cancer during a median of 11.2 years of follow-up (58 cases per 100,000 person-years). Ovarian cancer incidence was 61 and 55 cases per 100,000 person-years among ever users and never users, respectively (estimated hazard ratio, 1.08; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.17). For frequent versus never use, the estimated hazard ratio was 1.09 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.97 to 1.23), and for long-term versus never use, the hazard ratio was 1.01 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.25).

“The study by O’Brien et al represents the largest cohort to date to examine whether an association exists between powder use in the genital area and ovarian cancer risk, and the findings are overall reassuring,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical technology industries.

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