Explaining Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Incidence Rates between Women of African and European Ancestry: The Role of Genetic Factors.

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Non-Hispanic White (NHW) women are at higher risk of ovarian cancer than African-American (AA) women. Approximately 30% of the difference in age-adjusted invasive epithelial ovarian cancer incidence rates (AAIR) between the two groups can be explained by differing oophorectomy rates and the prevalence of non-genetic risk and protective factors. Our purpose was to determine how much of the remaining difference in AAIRs could be explained by varying allele frequencies between NHWs and AAs for 18 genome-wide significant common susceptibility variants for ovarian cancer. Using data on 13,385 cases and 24,875 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, a genetic risk score (GRS) was created from 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with ovarian cancer risk following the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS) effort. Relative risks for each GRS quintile were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for genetic ancestry and conditioning on study site, age, and race. The population attributable risk percent (PAR) for GRS above the lowest quintile was calculated using the Bruzzi method. Previously reported oophorectomy and non-genetic risk factor (talc, oral contraceptive use, family history of ovarian cancer, endometriosis, parity and tubal ligation) adjusted incidence rates for ovarian cancer in NHWs and AA's were 7.2 and 5.8 per 100,000 respectively. These incidence rates were further adjusted for the contribution of the GRS from this analysis. The subsequent genetic PAR adjusted rate was 5.1 per 100,000 for the European ancestry group and 4.9 for the African ancestry group, after taking into account the different oophorectomy rates and prevalence of non-genetic risk factors. These incidence rates show the unexplained difference in incidence rates between NHWs and AAs is only 3.9%. Future efforts should focus on incorporating novel non-genetic and genetic factors into this analysis to determine whether essentially all of the difference in incidence between these groups can be explained.





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Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Department of Medicine

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