Long-term and baseline recreational physical activity and risk of endometrial cancer: the California Teachers Study

Br J Cancer. 2013 Aug 6;109(3):761-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.61. Epub 2013 Jul 16.


Background: Physical activity may be associated with decreasing endometrial cancer risk; it remains unclear whether the association is modified by body size.

Methods: Among 93 888 eligible California Teachers Study participants, 976 were diagnosed with incident endometrial cancer between 1995-1996 and 2007. Cox proportional hazards regression methods were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for endometrial cancer associated with long-term (high school through age 54 years) and baseline (3 years prior to joining the cohort) strenuous and moderate recreational physical activity, overall and by body size.

Results: Increased baseline strenuous recreational physical activity was associated with decreased endometrial cancer risk (Ptrend=0.006) with approximately 25% lower risk among women exercising >3 h per week per year than among those exercising <1/2 h per week per year (RR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63-0.92). This inverse association was observed among overweight/obese women (body mass index ≥25 kg m(-2); Ptrend=0.006), but not among thinner women (Ptrend=0.12). Baseline moderate activity was associated with lower risk among overweight/obese women.

Conclusion: Increasing physical activity, particularly strenuous activity, may be a lifestyle change that overweight and obese women can implement to reduce their endometrial cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • California / epidemiology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Faculty / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Recreation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult