Although physical activity is associated with lower breast cancer risk for average-risk women, it is not known if this association applies to women at high familial/genetic risk. We examined the association of recreational physical activity (self-reported by questionnaire) with breast cancer risk using the Prospective Family Study Cohort, which is enriched with women who have a breast cancer family history (N = 15,550). We examined associations of adult and adolescent recreational physical activity (quintiles of age-adjusted total metabolic equivalents per week) with breast cancer risk using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for demographics, lifestyle factors, and body mass index. We tested for multiplicative interactions of physical activity with predicted absolute breast cancer familial risk based on pedigree data and with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status. Baseline recreational physical activity level in the highest four quintiles compared with the lowest quintile was associated with a 20% lower breast cancer risk (HR, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.68-0.93). The association was not modified by familial risk or BRCA mutation status (P interactions >0.05). No overall association was found for adolescent recreational physical activity. Recreational physical activity in adulthood may lower breast cancer risk for women across the spectrum of familial risk. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that physical activity might reduce breast cancer risk by about 20% for women across the risk continuum, including women at higher-than-average risk due to their family history or genetic susceptibility.See related commentary by Niehoff et al., p. 23.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.
Conflict of interest statement
Regular use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and breast cancer risk for women at familial or genetic risk: a cohort study.Breast Cancer Res. 2019 Apr 18;21(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s13058-019-1135-y. Breast Cancer Res. 2019. PMID: 30999962 Free PMC article.
BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations in Japanese women with ductal carcinoma in situ.Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2019 Mar;7(3):e493. doi: 10.1002/mgg3.493. Epub 2019 Jan 16. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2019. PMID: 30652428 Free PMC article.
Benign breast disease increases breast cancer risk independent of underlying familial risk profile: Findings from a Prospective Family Study Cohort.Int J Cancer. 2019 Jul 15;145(2):370-379. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32112. Epub 2019 Feb 20. Int J Cancer. 2019. PMID: 30725480
Genetic Tests for Breast and Ovarian Cancer [Internet].Oslo, Norway: Knowledge Centre for the Health Services at The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH); 2008 Feb. Report from Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC) No. 05-2008. Knowledge Centre for the Health Services at The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). 2008. PMID: 29319983 Free Books & Documents. Review.
Risk-reducing bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Aug 24;8(8):CD012464. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012464.pub2. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018. PMID: 30141832 Free PMC article. Review.
Cited by 2 articles
The Assessment and Relationship Between Quality of Life and Physical Activity Levels in Greek Breast Cancer Female Patients under Chemotherapy.Sports (Basel). 2020 Mar 11;8(3):32. doi: 10.3390/sports8030032. Sports (Basel). 2020. PMID: 32168786 Free PMC article.
Epigenetic Biomarkers for Environmental Exposures and Personalized Breast Cancer Prevention.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 13;17(4):1181. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17041181. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020. PMID: 32069786 Free PMC article.