Risk substantially lower for postmenopausal women who do heavy lifting, carrying

-- Jeff Muise

Friday, September 24, 2010 (Last Updated: 09/27/2010)

FRIDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who get regular exercise during their workday or at home appear to have a reduced risk for developing invasive breast cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Stephanie M. George, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data on 2,866 invasive and 570 in situ breast cancer cases during 1996 to 2003 from among 97,039 postmenopausal women who participated in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. The researchers assessed the associations between non-recreational physical activity (such as lifting and carrying during work or walking/biking to work), sedentary behavior, and breast cancer risk.

The researchers found that women who engaged in heavy lifting or carrying during the day at home or work had a 38 percent risk reduction for invasive breast cancer compared to those who mostly sat all day. Also, women who reported walking or biking to work for 10 or more years had a 14 percent risk reduction compared to women who had done so for less than a year.

"Routine activity during the day at work or home may be related to reduced invasive breast cancer risk. Domains outside of recreation time may be attractive targets for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior among postmenopausal women," the authors write.

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Specialties OBGYN & Women's Health
Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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