Occupational and leisure-time physical activity and risk of colon cancer by subsite

J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Mar;48(3):236-43. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000199521.72764.26.


Objective: Studies of physical activity and colon cancer risk by anatomic site have provided inconsistent results.

Methods: We analyzed data from a population-based case-control study conducted in Iowa involving 685 colon cancer cases and 2434 control subjects.

Results: Among those who reported recreational activity more than twice per week, a 30% risk reduction of colon cancer was observed for all sites with a 40% risk reduction for cancer of the right colon. Occupational physical activity was also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. The risk was the lowest for those with both high occupational and recreational physical activity (odds ratio, 0.5; 95% confidence interval, 0.3-0.8).

Conclusions: Increased physical activity was inversely associated with colon cancer risk. The inverse associations were stronger for the right than for the left colon.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iowa / epidemiology
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations*
  • Risk