Use of hair products in relation to ovarian cancer risk

Carcinogenesis. 2021 Jun 26:bgab056. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgab056. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

We evaluated whether hair products, which may contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, are related to ovarian cancer incidence in a prospective cohort. After excluding women with a history of ovarian cancer or bilateral oophorectomy, 40,559 Sister Study participants ages 35-74 at enrollment (2003-2009) were included. Participants completed questionnaires on hair product use, including hair dyes, straighteners/relaxers and permanents/body waves, in the past 12 months. Cox regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) for the association between hair products and incident ovarian cancer. We assessed associations stratified by tumor type (serous, non-serous). Over a mean follow-up of 10 years, 241 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ever use of any of the examined hair products during the past year was not associated with ovarian cancer risk. However, frequent use (>4 times/year) of straighteners/relaxers or pressing products in the past year was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer (HR=2.19, 95% CI: 1.12-4.27). Ever use of permanent hair dye was positively associated with non-serous (HR=1.94, 95% CI 1.12-3.37), but inversely associated with serous (HR=0.65, 95% CI: 0.43-0.99) tumors (p-for-heterogeneity=0.002). Our novel findings suggest that frequent use of hair straighteners/relaxers or pressing products, which are primarily used by African American/Black women, and possibly permanent hair dye, may be associated with the occurrence of ovarian cancers.

PMID:34173819 | DOI:10.1093/carcin/bgab056