Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Postmenopausal levels of endogenous sex hormones and risk of colorectal cancer.

Authors: Clendenen, Tess V; Koenig, Karen L; Shore, Roy E; Levitz, Mortimer; Arslan, Alan A; Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne

Published In Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, (2009 Jan)

Abstract: Observational epidemiologic studies and randomized trials have reported a protective effect of oral hormonal replacement therapy on risk of colorectal cancer. Only one previous prospective study, the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, has reported on the relationship between endogenous hormones and incident colorectal cancer. Contrary to expectation, the investigators found that women with higher circulating estradiol levels were at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. We conducted a case-control study nested within the New York University Women's Health Study prospective cohort to evaluate the association between endogenous levels of estrone, estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) with risk of colorectal cancer. We measured hormones and SHBG in serum samples collected at enrollment from a total of 148 women who subsequently developed colorectal cancer and 293 matched controls. Circulating estrone levels were positively associated with risk of colorectal cancer: The odds ratio for the highest versus lowest quartile of estrone was 1.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.3). We found a nonsignificant inverse association between SHBG and colorectal cancer, which disappeared after adjusting for body mass index. We did not find an association between estradiol and colorectal cancer risk, but we cannot rule out a potential association because of substantial laboratory error in the measurement. Our results suggest that endogenous estrone is associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women.

PubMed ID: 19124509 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Biomarkers/blood*; Case-Control Studies; Colorectal Neoplasms/blood*; Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology; Estradiol/blood; Estrogen Replacement Therapy; Estrone/blood; Female; Gonadal Steroid Hormones/blood*; Humans; Logistic Models; Middle Aged; Postmenopause/blood*; Risk Factors; Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin/metabolism; Surveys and Questionnaires

to Top