Epidemiologic studies have suggested that diabetes mellitus (DM) might be associated with risk of ovarian cancer; however, the results have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between DM and the incidence of ovarian cancer on the basis of cohort studies.
Relevant studies from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library until September 2016 were collected. The summary risk ratio (RR) was used as the effect measure in a random effects model. Sensitivity analysis, subgroup analysis, and calculation of publication bias were conducted.
Thirteen articles including 14 cohorts comprising a total of 3708, 313 women and reporting 5534 cases of ovarian cancer were included. The summary RR suggested that patients with DM had a higher risk of ovarian cancer than patients without DM (RR: 1.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.06–1.34; P = .004), and no evidence of publication bias was found. The subgroup analysis indicated a higher incidence of ovarian cancer in patients with DM in studies published after 2010, studies not conducted in Europe or the United States, studies that did not adjust for body mass index or smoking status, and studies with lower Newcastle–Ottawa Scale scores.
The present findings indicated that DM is a risk factor for ovarian cancer, and future large-scale epidemiologic studies should be performed to evaluate this relation in specific populations.